Decision making is usually hindered by fears: fear of failure, losing one’s face, job, partner, comfort, and fear of change, and uncertainty. Thus, the key to success is to uncover hidden fear and not let it paralyze you.

Confront your fear

The biggest challenge in decision making is that most people aren’t aware about their inner fears. We, as social creatures, are educated to be fearless, so we suppress this feeling since childhood and control ourselves so well that we start believing we are invincible.

For example, one client wished to start his own business, but kept on postponing the decision to leave his annoying job. He kept on dreaming, but took no action towards his goal. Thus, in two years he was where he started: in the same low-paying, boring job. Then he tried coaching and became conscious of his fear to lose stable income, not to be able to provide for his family, and doubt if he could succeed in such a competitive market. We worked with his fears and the negative underlying attitudes. At the end, he left his current job and started his own business.

Know what you want

Not knowing what you want is a common situation for adults. But, look at kids; they always know what they want before they get scolded, shouted at, or slapped. During our socialization, in our family, kindergarten, and school, we learn that this is an inappropriate, shameful, or inconvenient desire. To be liked and loved we start behaving as parents, grandpas, teachers, and other significant people want us to. We develop a pleaser’s subpersonality so well and we play it to perfection so long that at the end we don’t know who we really are and what we really want. In this case, the deepest fear is not to be liked/loved.

For example, one client was upset with her career: the relationship with her boss and colleagues, inflexible working hours, and exhausting work load. She continuously talked about what she didn’t like and what she didn’t want. When asked what she did want, she couldn’t make up her mind. At first, she said she wanted more appreciation from her boss, but then she said no, she couldn’t disappoint him. And the “yes, no” game continued. We confronted her fear of losing people’s sympathy and she was able to decide her next career move. She clearly expressed her ambition for a leadership role and was promoted to Assistant Manager.

Play your cards right

Modern science shows how powerful the human mind is and how little potential of it we use in decision making and goal achievement. We are like children playing hide and seek in darkness instead of becoming the masters of our mind and using its infinite opportunities. The more you repeat to yourself “I can’t do it, I will never be able to achieve that goal, this job is too good for me”, the stronger negative synapses (neuron connections in the brain) you make. The more you start believing in your own incapacity, the more pessimistic you look at life. The more you repeat to yourself the positive phrases, “I can do it, I am worthy of this partner, job, success, etc.”, the more invincible and optimistic you become. You start using energy for attaining goals, not paralyzing yourself.

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