The number of choices you have to make to each and every day can add up into the thousands; from what clothes you put on in the morning and what you eat for lunch to what podcast you listen to next or radio station you play in the car. In fact, some sources claim that we make up to 35,000 decisions every day.
So it’s no surprise that, when it comes to making decisions about your business and marketing, that decision fatigue can become a real problem. If you’re already facing a thousand or more decisions about day-to-day stuff, when you apply the same decision making process to bigger business and marketing stuff, your brain can be running tired and wired.
It’s like having too many tabs open on your browser or too many apps running in the background of your phone … because your brain is full of mundane thinking, it just doesn’t have the capacity to move up a gear to deal with the seemingly bigger or more important decisions about your business.
I believe decision making to be one of the “secrets” to business success. It’s action, rather than ideas, that grow your business and action can only happen once you’ve made a decision.
So if you find it difficult to make decisions, it can really hold you back in your business growth journey.
Many years ago I came up with The P Cycle; the constant and exhausting swirl of perpetual learning, which leads to perfectionism, which leads to procrastination which leads straight back to perpetual learning.
Because when you don’t know something (which is ALWAYS the case with most of your business and marketing decision, yes?!), it feels easier to go out and learn more about whatever it is you are making a decision about first, before actually making a decision to take action on it.
This means you are forever seeking ideas and learning more about how to do something … but you never quite get out of The P Cycle to take actual action and move forward with your business idea or marketing initiative.
So is decision making a skill you can learn?
Yes, sure it is. You can use tools such as the classic SWOT or cost-benefit analysis to help you weigh up the pros and cons.
But for most of your decisions you have to make to move forward with your business or marketing, I’ve found many of these decisions making tools have the danger of keeping you in the P Cycle.
Because you go off and learn how to make a decision, you try and get the decision making process right (AKA perfect!) which delays the decision making process even further and thus stops you from taking action.
Is there another way of making a decision?
Yes. I’m glad you asked 🙂
Because there is an important space within us that very few of us know how to access on a day-to-day basis.
You probably feel it from time to time and perhaps, like me, you know it’s there because so many people around you refer to it. Some people call it a gut feeling. Others may call it intuition. It doesn’t really matter whether you may feel it or hear it in your gut, soul, heart or solar plexus, it’s the thoughts and feelings that come to you when you may meet someone for the first time or walk into a room or in the middle of a conversation with someone.
Having spent the first 25+ years of my adult life as a strong, independent Super Woman (yup, I really was on track to burn out by the time I got to 43 – I just didn’t see it coming!), I really didn’t know how to access this intuitive way to help me make decisions. I was so busy making decisions based on logical thinking, that it was burning me out. Just like that browser with too many tabs open; at some point, you are painstakingly watching yet another spinning circle of doom that you realise the only thing you can do is re-boot the whole of your machine.
So a few years ago, I decided I need to re-boot, slow down and explore different ways of growing and building businesses.
Let me hand you over to my good buddy, Kate Wolf, who is an expert on this matter.
“Everyone is designed differently which means we all ‘hear’ our intuition in different ways. Some people hear words or phrases, for others, it’s a ‘feeling’ or sixth-sense. And for others, it’s an actual physical feeling or sensation in the body.
The key is to take the time to discover how your intuition speaks to you. The more you ‘listen’, the more you’ll ‘hear’. It’s also a journey of trust and courage. As you start honouring your intuition and daring to act on it, it will show up more for you and your relationship will strengthen.
Often people think they’re not intuitive but when I ask them to tell me a time they ‘just knew’ something was the wrong decision for them – whether it’s in the realm of business, finance, relationships, health or pretty much anything – everyone can come up with something.”
So if you’d like to find a way of accessing your intuition more to help you make decisions more easily – and thus take action on the stuff that’s going to grow your business – here’s what I love to invite you to do.
Learn to be a tracker of how your intuition shows up.
I’ve been on a huge journey over the last few years, re-connecting with myself and discovering how our energies work. I have had to learn how to slow down so that I may hear what my body and soul is trying to tell me.
A couple of the regular practices I use to allow myself to track how my own intuition comes up are are journalling – the simple practice of writing a few pages of my thoughts before I start my working day – and using Angel Cards – picking a card before or during my journaling to help me bring awareness to what I should be paying attention to. Both these practices allow me to get out of my head and feel into different parts of my body and awareness. And from here, I can pay attention to source rather than the exhausting logic.
There’s so much more I want to share about this topic but I want to finish off today with these final thoughts from Kate.
“It can be very easy to mistake projection for intuition. One of the key ways to recognise your intuition is that it comes without a story. If you find yourself explaining WHY something is so, and telling yourself lots of stories about it, it’s almost definitely some form of projection. Intuition simply is. It doesn’t need to explain itself, rationalise or justify.
So if your ‘sense’ or ‘feeling’ is coming with a lot of story and explanations, it may well NOT be intuition. When this happens, take some time to meditate, to journal, to get beneath the story to the truth. This is also a good time to turn to a skilled Coach or Healer who will guide you out of the story-mess of your head and into the wisdom of your body.”
I find I can use stories A LOT in my thinking when I’m running my decisions purely on logic, which is helpful when working with my clients because I can see them do exactly the same thing LOL. So this is great advice from Kate, particularly if these kind of practices are new to you.
If you have anything to add to this, please leave a comment below. I’d love to know how this article shows up for you and what you do to help you access your intuition.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
Thanks, Karen and Kate! My answer to “Is making a decision a skill or a way of being?” is that, for me, it’s a way of being, a way of living. Back in 2009, I made a commitment to follow my inner guidance in all my decision-making. Although very rewarding and freeing, it’s been challenging at times as my logical mind has been pushing with, “Are you sure this is right?” (who defines ‘right’, right!). Yet, my path along the gut-felt highway has taken me places I could not have thought into being had I just followed what I already knew (which, for me, is the domain of the logical mind). It provides us with security based in what we know.
This post has inspired some thinking around how we can make use of a deeper understanding of our values in support of decision-making. I’ll get back to that after I’ve gathered my thoughts. 🙂