I’ve been thinking a lot about the notion of taking decisive action. I agree that there are circumstances where I’ve benefited from taking decisive action. Times where, had I over-thought the situation, I would have lost out on an amazing opportunity. I can also think of times where decisive action didn’t serve me very well at all. Since I can think of recent experiences where I have encountered both positive and negative outcomes from taking decisive action, it got me thinking – what made the difference here?
I think for me the big difference was how I felt while making the decision. In the instance where things worked out better than I expected, an opportunity presented itself to me and I inherently felt like the right thing to do was say yes to it in that moment. In the situation where things didn’t pay off at all like I had hoped, my logical mind said it totally made sense to say yes, but intuitively I wasn’t totally convinced. I actually called someone for a second opinion, looking for someone else to help me justify the decision I was getting ready to make. I wonder what would have happened if they had responded negatively? Would it have been enough to talk me out of the decision?
Here’s the thing with decisive action: we’re told it’s what successful people do. Over-thinking and over-analyzing can cause paralysis and when that happens, nothing gets done. I totally agree with this, as I’ve seen it play out in my own life. But is decisive action always a conscious decision? Based on my own experiences, I would have to say no. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of an event, feeding off the energy of the room and make a decision that isn’t necessarily in your best interest because you’re slightly “intoxicated” in the moment.
If I had been more conscious in my decision making, maybe I wouldn’t have made the same choice, maybe I would have. The difference would be in the way I felt about it afterwards. Had I truly been making a conscious decision, knowing and feeling that the decision was the right one for me, I don’t think I would be able to sit here second guessing myself today. It would be easier to accept that it was the right decision for me in that present moment, instead of feeling like I jumped into the deep end without considering my swimming abilities or checking if there was a life guard around to help me out if needed.
Is decisive action a bad thing? Absolutely not! Nothing would ever get done if we weren’t able to make a decision and take action. I think that decisive action without conscious decision making is what can get us into trouble. When we don’t take the time to truly be present, listen to our inner voice and follow our instincts, we take action without real purpose. I choose to no longer do things because they “make sense” on paper, or because it works for everyone else. I’m going to make my decisions consciously, with purpose and the understanding that there are no guarantees that it’s going to work out the way that I want it to, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take because it feels right to me! ♥