"I have to decide and I can't afford
to make a mistake!"
I hear this comment frequently from clients who call me.
Here's what I suggest to them.
Some folks believe there are no bad decisions. . If you turn
left instead of right, you think you've made a mistake --
till you realize this detour is actually a shortcut to the
destination of your dreams.
But if you're standing at a fork in the road, here are some
guidelines that others have found helpful.
1. Know who you are and what you want -- today. You spent
a life as the quintessential urban resident and now seek the
countryside. You enjoyed twenty years of law or medicine or
sales, and now you find yourself writing poetry and making
time to help a third-grader learn to read. Yesterday's decision
rules won't work any longer.
2. Be willing to walk away if you're not ready to sign on
the dotted line. You always have choices. If you're supposed
to have that house or that job, it will be there tomorrow.
3.Share your plans with friends, family and colleagues. Pay
attention to how you feel when you share. Pay less attention
to their reactions.
4 Uncertainty is a sign that you need more information. Talk
to people who have been there. Book knowledge and internet
knowledge will be outdated by the time you read it.
5. If you turn right, what is the worst that could happen
-- a year from now? Five years down the road? How does that
compare to the worst case scenario of turning left?
6. Some people sleep soundly when they don't know where they
will get the next mortgage payment. Others toss and turn when
their checking account falls below ten thousand dollars. When
you live in your own comfort zone, you attract more opportunity.
7, Decisiveness may be valued by your corporate or social
culture. In a transition, fast decisions can actually slow
you down. Most people have more energy for starting up than
8. Intuition is your source of power. Keep your batteries
charged. Meditate, write in a journal, spend solitary time
outdoors. If you feel uncertain or intimidated, go away until
you feel stronger.
9. Don't dive right in. Dip a toe into the water. Warm? Start
wading. Do you find yourself waving good-by to the people
left behind? Are your toes curling happily into the wet sand?
Or are you finding sharp rocks, icy water and harsh tides?
Do you feel ready to take off and swim to the other side of
the world? You can still turn back, but do you want to?
10. Once you've committed to the decision, keep looking ahead.
One of my happiest friends says, "I don't agonize over
a decision. I assume whatever I chose is right for me and
go full speed ahead."
At the same time, remember that few decisions turn into a
life sentence. You can always review your new life, get out
the maps, and chart a new course for your future.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.