The ball came flying at me with lightning velocity and a wicked spin. My counter move was critical. The instantaneous mental processing of forehand or backhand, low angle or high angle, top, side, or backspin all colliding in my mind at once. To my demise, the ball ricocheted off my paddle and into the wall giving my opponent the prize of the point. I missed that shot, not because I lacked the skills, but because I was indecisive.
We have all been in the moment where it was difficult to decide. Our minds and emotions are flooded with data that we cannot process clearly to come to a decisive answer. The ping pong example is one of quick decision-making. Most work or life decisions don’t require an immediate answer. We generally have time to think. But, the core of indecision is the message in our minds that says, “I don’t want to mess up.” This is a message of fear as opposed to confidence.
If decision-making is rooted in the fear of “messing up,” we’ve already failed. We all know this feeling and thinking. So, how do we confidently lead ourselves and others through decision-making? I am going to offer three thoughts: record the data, seek counsel, and have no regrets.
1. Record the Data
There is data or information surrounding every decision. This information bounces around in our minds like an out of control ping-pong ball that we cannot quite grasp. Bring the data under control by writing it down. Clarity comes when we make our thoughts visual.
2. Seek Counsel
There are two winning proverbs around seeking counsel that you can hold onto as truth.
- “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
- “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”
Thus, set down your pride, and seek advice from people you trust.
3. No Regrets
If you have recorded the data and sought counsel, then make the best decision you can with no regrets even if the choice ultimately fails. Regret thinking is a pity party that keeps you from moving forward. I am not suggesting you don’t process why the decision failed. You should look back from my mindset of learning. This learning is a gift that will help you in the future.
That wraps up this blog. I need to go follow my own advice on a decision that’s been on my mind by recording my thoughts, seeking counsel, and having a no regrets mentality. I may go play some more ping pong as well.