Seeing The Light
How to navigate difficult decisions when the pressure is on and you don’t know which way to turn.
I credit one of my great coaches, Mikael Meir, for this sage piece of advice.
I was struggling with an important business decision that had been weighing on me for some time. It was a complex decision that was strategic in nature and involved several people that I really cared about. I felt like I was unable to make a rational decision – my emotions were getting in the way and my vision was blurred.
I tried consulting with other entrepreneurs that I respected and got conflicting advice. I tried writing down the pros and cons of each decision and ended up even more confounded. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and unable to get back to sleep from contemplating my problem.
It seemed that the harder I tried to come to a decision, the more stuck I became.
The worst part of it was that I felt that time was running out and I was under pressure to make some type of announcement about my decision. My team was waiting, my clients were waiting, and even my husband was waiting. I was paralyzed.
I spoke to Mikael about my dilemma, and here’s what he said:
“You have a decision inside of you. You don’t need to ask for advice or get permission from anyone. And you don’t even need to make a decision any time soon.”
What? But everyone is waiting!
“So let them wait”
For how long?
“For however long it takes.”
So just do nothing?
“When someone walks into a dark room, what do they typically do? They typically walk around, bumping into things, tripping, falling and even hurting themselves as they desperately search for the light.
Instead of all that chaos, walk into the middle of the room, calmly sit still and wait for your eyes to adjust to the light. Once you can see what’s around you, then get up. You will find your way around with greater ease.”
That makes sense!
As entrepreneurs and leaders, we are wired to take action. I would even go so far as to say that inaction causes us discomfort to the point where we take action just to get out of that state of discomfort. But the actions that stem from this discomfort are often decisions that we later regret.
If you are facing a big decision right now, it might serve you to take a moment of calm, quiet, stillness so that you can acclimate to the dark. Take your time to see the light before diving into action.
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