Quit Dithering: Making Good Decisions Efficiently

Stop being over critical, and instead release your inner coach

A key benefit of mental mastery is being able to make good decisions.

Many people get stuck in analysis paralysis when facing big decisions. They keep second-guessing themselves. This is especially common among people who are thinking about starting a business. They have trouble getting something practical up and running because they’re perpetually stuck in the idea stage.

It makes sense to spend some time weighing options to increase the quality of our decisions, but if we do this to excess, life passes us by, and we have nothing to show for our analysis. Analyzing options doesn’t produce results. If your mind keeps thinking itself in circles, you have a mental defect to overcome.

A well-managed mind is decisive but also flexible. It can weigh options quickly and carefully, get into action, and adjust course as needed.road arrows

There are many good processes for making decisions. A simple one I often use is a decision matrix. I list reasonable options, score them on several factors, and rank them in alignment with my knowledge, skills, and experience. Select the options with the best scores.

Most of the time I just make decisions intuitively because I’ve already spent years studying decision making techniques, so those methods are pretty well internalized now. Consequently, my gut instinct tends to align well with any logical or analytical process I might use.

Some people are too hesitant. Some people are too reckless. Both are symptoms of a weak decision-making process. Fortunately you can train yourself to make quality decisions in a reasonable amount of time, act on them, and adapt as you go. This requires a combination of skills, but they’re all learnable.

When your mind is well-trained, you’ll also enjoy making decisions more, especially important ones. It’s stimulating and rewarding to direct your mind to carefully consider options and make a wise and intelligent choice.

Turning Your Inner Critic Into an Inner Coach

Many people have overly critical self-talk, which usually does them more harm than good. This inner voice can be consciously re-trained to serve as an unwavering ally.

Imagine having a positive and supportive inner coach. This coach is always on your side. This coach keeps searching for opportunities and helps you focus your energy. This coach never gives up.

I’ve worked with a couple of different personal coaches in the past, but I haven’t felt the need for one in many years because my own mind does a pretty good job of coaching me. My inner voice challenges me a lot, but he’s also incredibly supportive and encouraging. When I have a setback, he builds me back up again. When I have a victory, he celebrates with me. When I’ve been coasting for a while, he nudges me to set new goals and get back to the sweet spot of challenge and flow.

It’s so much easier to succeed when you have a strong inner coach that won’t let you give up, get down on yourself, or coast for too long. With some mental training, you can design and unleash your own inner coach, which will help you set goals, overcome obstacles, and more. Think of this coach as your brain’s internal cheerleader.

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