Raise your hand if you’ve got some kind of decision hanging over you. Yup, thought so. That’s pretty much everyone, far as I can see. MBA life – including the time before and after business school – is overflowing with them. If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you know it’s a topic we turn to often, because you turn to it often – even when you don’t want to.
Growth is about making transitions, also known as changes, which usually result after you make a choice about what’s changing and how. It’s nice to have options, of course, and there are some times when you have to go with the flow because that’s the only choice. Those big decision points, though…they can be brutal.
Even when they’re about something super positive, tough decisions can feel a lot like problems. Champagne problems, maybe, but problems nonetheless. And how do you solve a problem when you’re in this high-achieving space we inhabit?
You think about it. You analyze it. You look at it from every perspective. You seek advice. You seek more advice. Then you think about it some more.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that. Do all of it, as much as you want. When you get your brain into a tangled web of contradictory thoughts, call me.
Better yet, take a deep breath.
On Monday, we touched a little bit on problems and solutions, and just where exactly might be the best place to look for answers when the questions are piling up.
Spoiler alert: it’s you.
Yes, data is a great thing, and for sure, the advice of smart people who know you, or know the subject, is super valuable. Ultimately, though, every choice is yours to make, and yours to live out. Might as well get a better sense of how you really feel about it.
OK, I hear you. You already know how you feel. Confused, conflicted. Undecided. But underneath all of that, there is probably something else, too.
Whenever you’re confronted with options, you have an internal response to one over the others. Your “gut” has an opinion, and it tries to convey it. The issue is, you may not even notice. Your brain kicks into gear immediately, and takes over the conversation. Intuition heads to the backseat, but fortunately, it doesn’t go mute.
How do you help it find it’s voice again? You can start by finding your breath. It’s a really useful tool for taking a break from all that noise in your head. It’s always there, and it’s always right now. It’s also BFFs with your intuition, because intentional breathing tells your body it’s ok to dial that stress response down a few notches, which helps turn the volume down on the hyper-analysis.
You’ve got a path to follow that doesn’t belong to anyone else. You have to make the choices that belong to you, and you alone. Be sure you’re dialed in to the one source that knows how to recognize them.
Photo credit: Naletu