How to Start Making Your Own Decisions
What percentage of your decisions do you make for yourself?
At one of the lowest points of my life years ago I made an EXTREMELY important observation about my behavior that's shifted the way I've made decisions forever.
What was that observation?
Social pressure, external forces, and my environment dictated most of my decisions.
It seemed like every facet of my life was someone else's decision:
Career: I was working in corporate, "for the man," in a job that felt safe, secure, and what I was "supposed to do," even though I wasn't fulfilled.
Personal Life: My weekend plans were often someone else's idea - I was just invited. I would justify drinking and doing drugs because people around me did them.
Health: I ate shit food dictated by the situation or convenience. Often whatever people around me were eating or an advertisement would influence me too.
I'd been sleepwalking through my life, blissfully unaware of the impact these forces had on my choices.
I was complicit in saying "YES" to all of it.
I was a backseat driver to my own life.
It was a sobering discovery (literally).
I DID NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER MY DEFAULT FUTURE.
With my newfound awareness I could CHANGE my PERCEPTION.
I could TAKE CONTROL.
This was MY DECISION.
What I realized:
My perception was MY REALITY.
AND, if I could CHANGE my perception.
My REALITY is NEGOTIABLE...
My life changed significantly.
I decided to start living intentionally, find my purpose, and prioritize my growth.
Question Your Decision Making
When you go out on weekends, do you usually make the plans, or is it usually left to others?
When you go to lunch with coworkers or friends do you decide the restaurant, or do they?
What was the last decision you made today? How was it impacted by external forces (people, media, environment, etc)?
If you answer these questions and find that you're allowing others to determine your schedule more than yourself, you might consider re-evaluating how you spend your time.
We only live a finite life, and you're the only one who is responsible for your own.
Spend it intentionally on the things you want to be doing.
Ways to Make Your Own Decisions
Start saying NO more. It's like a muscle, and one of the most valuable things you can work out. When you realize that an activity or plan is not aligned to your values, goals, and/or what you WANT, just don't do it. Don't feel like you have to justify your no to others.
Create the experiences you want and work backwards. Figure out what you want to do each week and take back your weekends. What do you want to accomplish? Do that. And maybe more importantly determine what you DON'T want to do, especially if it's become a pattern of negative behavior.
Start living a more decisive life in all regards - pick the lunch spot, make the plans and invite others, be direct. It's still ok to say yes to other's plans, but be the MOST decisive person in your OWN life.
How do external forces dictate your decision making?