One Key Step in Decision-Making

One key step in decision-making that is often overlooked is being comfortable with "I don't know." We can collect all the data that is possible to collect, we can check in with what our intitution is telling us and we can ask for advice from family and friends. Even after taking these steps, we can find ourselves not knowing the "right" thing to do. Until we get comfortable with "I don't know", we will be paralyzed into inaction.

While looking at Twitter recently, I came across a short video of an interview Ellen Degeneres conducted with Nick Foles, the quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. In the interview, Nick talked about deep indecision he faced two years ago. He had been released from the Eagles and was deciding what to do next. He wasn't sure he wanted to get back into football with another team. He started imagining other options for himself when his wife urged him to give football one more chance. He took her advice, but remarked to Ellen that out of all of his options, this was the most scary. He did not know if getting back into football was the right choice. In fact, it was not until several days into training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs did he discover a peace of mind about his decision. He had to take a leap of faith not knowing if it was the right leap.

Seeing this interview made me realize I had been doing the very same thing about a decision I was faced with making. I had been putting off really committing to a choice because I didn't know if it was the right thing for me. The decision forced me to go way outside of my comfort zone - I didn't have a good frame of reference. I am pleased to report that taking the leap has made me realize that my decision is the best one for me at this point. Yesterday I caught myself paralyzed again when faced with a long to-do list and not knowing the "right" thing to do first. After taking several deep breaths, I realized the thing to do was to do something - anything - and go from there. 

When faced with a decision, please give yourself the freedom of "I don't know" and go. Take deep breaths along the way and have confidence in yourself that you will respond well to what comes; even if you have to change course or learn some tough lessons. Don't let "I don't know" stop you from "Let's do this."