How often do you stop and think, is this really want I want?

I had a real bee in my bonnet when people kept telling me I was brave setting up the business with my husband). I didn’t see myself as brave. It wasn’t a dangerous situation nor had I not thought about it. I also told people that I was taking a leap of faith.

And actually none of this is true. I wasn’t brave, I was courageous AND full of intrepeditation and fear – it was my secret dream for 10 years!

Brave vs courage is an important distinction that many leaders and businesses miss.

Courage takes a conscious choice. Bravery is often done without thought.

Think about all the times you’ve made a choice.

Sometimes it feels like the choices are ones you have to make, but the truth is you are making them consciously.
Sometimes you’ve spent years making a choice but you want to try (this was me!).
Sometimes you are being persuaded to make a choice, but you still make that choice.

Making more conscious choices is shifting from reacting to to making thought-through choices.

Thought-through because:

a) you’ve had time to reflect
b) it aligns with your purpose/mission/goal/values
c) it feels the right thing to do.

Now, you may be thinking, but Juliet I’m a thinker. Well, so am I!

Here’s an exercise for you to do this week to tap into your conscious decision making:

  1. What is your purpose, mission, goal and values? It could be your purpose is to care for your family, or put your children through school, go on long vacations, travel the world, become happier in your life. All of this is unique to you.
  2. What’s going on in your mind when making a choice? Check in on your thinking. Reflect on point 1. Is this really what you want or is it being driven by an outside factor?
  3. What’s going on in your body when considering the choice? Check in on your body. When you connect points 1 and 2, you should feel positive energy. I call it nervouscited. It feels like electricity running through my body where I want to do something. I feel more energetic and my inner drive kicks into action. How do it feel for you? Listen and trust what it’s telling you.
  4. What are you saying? Pay attention to your words as these mirror your body. I think (brain). I feel (heart). I need (gut). Your gut is intuitive. It sends implicit messages about your deeper needs with very little explanation.
  5. When was the last time you made a conscious decision? Not making a decision, speaks volumes. You have made your choice and this is important to recognise. This article by the Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, shows that the longer you take to make a decision, the less confident you feel. It doesn’t mean it’s a wrong or right choice, because it could be your fear kicking in, but it will make you feel less confident and therefore avoid the decision. And hence people will say your brave, because it’s a decision out of the blue for them – but it’s isn’t for you. You’ve made a choice.

When it comes to shaping your future, your teams, your business. Use these 5 steps to make your choices, conscious and purposefully.

Photo: Cristofer Maximilian, Unsplash

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