2016 was a year of hard choices for me. Within a period of four months, I called off a wedding and quit a job I loved to take an even better one. In both circumstances, I was gut wrenched because I was so scared of making the wrong choice. I stalled and second-guessed myself as long as possible, I was so nervous to make the wrong choice. I googled the entire internet until 2 a.m., endlessly polled my friends for advice and made pros and cons lists. The only place I found the right answer was the LAST place I checked. Trusting my gut. When you're trying to make a decision, it's no wonder why we second-guess ourselves so much. The world is noisy with so much available advice on social media, in books, and leadership articles. There is no shortage of opinions on how you should lead and the actions you should take, so trusting yourself is more important than ever today. In our workloads between work and home, many women are too busy or overworked to remember to think about checking in with themselves. Ignoring your intuition is very common, especially for women who’ve spent years working in corporate organizations. 🔥 How often have you quieted your still, small voice because you were too distracted or looked outside of yourself for the right answer? Data is very important in making decisions, but if we only rely on data points, we can spend too much time second-guessing ourselves. Learning to use your head AND heart AND gut to make decisions is your competitive advantage as a leader.
PUT THIS IDEA INTO ACTION
Struggling to make a decision? Try this decision filter that will help you tap into all of your centers of intelligence so you can stop second-guessing and decide with confidence: DECISION I NEED TO MAKE: (Hint: Try this first with a small decision) ______________________________________________ Head: Being grounded in our head center ensures that we are looking at things from an objective, fact-based perspective (not our stories or biases). When making a decision, this is where the data, excel spreadsheets, powerpoint deck or expert advice comes in handy. Our heads make great chief operating officers or chief financial officers of our lives and they provide an opportunity for creativity by examining possibilities, evidence, connections, and future scenarios.
ASK: What do I know for sure? What are the facts of the situation? What evidence do I have?
Heart: Being grounded in our heart center of intelligence allows us to be compassionate and empathetic. Consider it to be your chief people and customer experience officer. Many successful leaders in difficult times know how to use empathy, attunement, and compassion to lead their teams. They also know the power of being connected to and compassionate with themselves.
ASK: What are my values? Does this align with them? What emotions am I experiencing? What’s their message? How do I want others to feel?
Gut: Being grounded in this center helps you listen to your body sensations and become in tune with your instincts. It’s the place you may hear the still, small voice of your intuition when you quiet yourself and get intentional about listening to it. When aligned with your head and heart, it creates intentional action. It creates confidence in action and decision. It makes for a good chief executive officer.
ASK: What sensations do I feel in my body? Does this feel of peace or dread? Is this a heck yes or hell no? What is mine to do?
🔥 You have a powerful tool inside your body that knows what’s right for you. You are equipped with everything you need to use your authentic leadership style to make decisions on your ideal career, relationships, and business goals. Trust yourself.
Kelli Thompson is a women's leadership coach, speaker and author who helps women advance to the rooms where decisions are made. She offers 1-1 private coaching and is the founder of the Clarity & Confidence Women's Leadership program (online group training for corporate women leaders). She is the author of Closing The Confidence Gap: Boost Your Peace, Your Potential & Your Paycheck.