Decision Making, Risk Taking, and Accepting Responsibility for Choices

Yes I know the title is long. I haven’t posted anything in my self analysis section in awhile because I’ve been busy. Went to Connecticut to visit my beautiful one year old granddaughter. Left a job. Began a new job. Got involved with “another” multi-level marketing (MLM) business. These sound like excuses don’t they? Maybe they are or maybe they’re valid reasons. In either case, it’s me, explaining myself to you. But why? I don’t owe anyone an explanation especially since this is my blog and I write for the love of writing. That’s the point – people tend to “explain” themselves to everyone all the time.

Explaining. We all do this to some degree or another – every day. We typically explain ourselves even to people who really aren’t all that important in our lives. What a waste of energy!

Do you know that when we explain our choices we drain ourselves of energy? Most of us “explainers” are strong “people-pleasers”. We often care more about what others think of us, than we think of ourselves. We do this out of a need to feel ACCEPTED.

We believe we can’t be happy (accept ourselves) unless a) we make others happy, or b) we need others to make us happy. And that’s simply not true. We can CHOOSE to BEHAPPY. All on our own. No one else needs to DO anything for us, nor do we need to do anything for anyone else.

What a concept!

Do you know where your true JOY comes from?

Being happy with yourself. Accept yourself. Be happy with your life – your journey. If you’re not happy perhaps you’ve made some wrong choices or put yourself in a situation you’d rather not be in. I say “wrong choices” only because ultimately your choices didn’t make you happy! But you learned life lessons. Perhaps you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Give yourself credit for who you are NOW.

You can make a very powerful choice. You can choose to be happy amidst whatever circumstances you find yourself in or you can choose to make different choices.

Sit still – right where you are… for a few minutes and just – BE.

Think of all of the good things in your life. Times when you made wonderful choices. You have every reason in the world to be happy!

There have been times in my life when my supervisor or manager at work wondered why I didn’t make decisions. Typically it was because I was waiting on something or someone to do something first. When I read this article it perfectly explained that situation. I didn’t make certain work decisions because I was waiting for someone’s approval. All that waiting was so draining. And it also seemed that sometimes I’d make a decision only to be criticized (sometimes severely). It put me in the vicious cycle of never being able to win. We’ve all heard people say, “no matter what I do – I can’t win” or “you can’t please everyone”. And that was me – until now.

I make work decisions based upon a risk taking matrix. In the most basic terms it goes something like this:

  • Is this decision in my best interest? (You sacrifice yourself and your happiness if whatever decision your making is for someone, anyone else.)
  • Is this choice best for the company? (This includes considering all ethics, laws, etc.)
  • In 20, 50, or 100 years will this matter?
  • What is the worst that could happen?

I recognize and accept responsibility. Making a wrong decision almost always can be reversed – if the need is great enough. And I do not work in a field where lives depend upon my decisions. Point is, if the decision is mine to make – I must make it with the best information I understand at the time not necessarily by considering “the need to please others”. There is a time and place for building consensus among team members but this is not the focus of this post.

It’s no wonder people-pleasers have a hard time trusting their own intuition. They’ve been waiting on someone else to do something – anything to relieve them of the need to “make a decision”. I have actually known people who cannot decide upon what restaurant to eat at, or even what item to order once they get there!

A former manager I worked with a few years ago told me one of the traits he looks for in those he promotes is the ability to make a decision! His statement still rings in my ears.

How many people are scared to make a decision?

We must learn to become risk takers and accept responsibility for our choices if we ever hope to become enlightened and be our best most joyous self.

I have blocked my own energy and creative power in the past by feeling a deep need to always explain myself. I am now learning to be much more aware and when I feel the need to explain I think for a moment and reason it out.

I begin to think different thoughts.

Happy thoughts.

It sounds easy enough as I write this, but I tell you – in the moment it’s not so easy.

I almost have to force myself to smile first, before I can guide my thoughts to something happy. People that aren’t “explainers” probably would have no idea what I’m talking about.

The other day a person said something to me in front of others that I didn’t like. I felt the need to explain my side but I didn’t. I felt all of the emotions (due to my thoughts) about the experience well up inside me, my face grew hot, and though I didn’t look in a mirror I knew my chest and neck were probably red, but by gradually and systematically changing my thoughts (changing my focus) within less than five minutes I felt back in control. Empowered. No need to explain. No need to get angry. No need to do anything.

Think about what is most important in your life. Who is most important in your life. Put yourself and how you feel – with the goal to be happy – first. Notice the better you feel – the better you feel. Why? To feel better! In turn, you and those you love will feel better too. People around you pick up on your energy. We Are All Connected whether you realize it or not.

If someone is consistently draining you of your energy you only have two choices. Let whatever they say roll off of you as easily as water rolls off a ducks back. Or let the person (or job) go – out of your life.

When someone dissatisfies me in any way, I tell myself, “thank you for helping me make a better decision“. If it happens to be because of some poor service in a restaurant I choose not to go back. If it’s a business situation, I end the association. I’ve quit going to particular service providers. Changed doctors. You name it.

There’s plenty of options out there and I’m not going to stick around someone or remain in a situation that’s not in my best interest. Why would I? I don’t want to come home and complain to my spouse about things I certainly am adult enough to change.

I am quite sure that my words may not teach you how to make decisions, take risks, or accept responsibility for your choices. You may choose to completely disagree with me and that’s okay. I won’t try to change you. 🙂

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