Last week I was in Perth, speaking at an event.
After my session, a man approached me and asked me a question I‘d never been asked before….
We were chatting about Ironman when he asked what made me stick to my decision to compete in Ironman competitions. He said “I imagine there were a lot of people telling you that you shouldn’t do it, and with your injuries it must have been scary. How did you know you’d made the right decision?”
This question kind of floored me.
It floored me because he was spot on. Almost everyone I know questioned me when I said I wanted to take on Ironman. I don’t blame them. When I registered for Ironman, despite being three years after the fire, I couldn’t swim more than 500 metres and the furthest I could run was 4 kilometres (and that distance had nearly done me in!). On top of that I was still in and out of hospital, having pretty major surgeries and of course there were all the other injuries that made Ironman seem almost impossible for me.
I asked myself, more than once, “Is this a good idea?”.
I reckon this is something all of us face, every day. We’ll decide to take on a project, or take a new job, start a new business or decide to do something that feels exciting and scary in our personal lives.
But after that initial rush of excitement dies down, you’re left with some anxiety and that question:
“Did I make the right decision?”
Here’s the thing, I don’t think the “right decision” exists. I think we have to make decisions and then we have to work to make those decisions right.
I think you have to trust yourself and know what is important to you. Because when you know that, decisions start work in your favour.
But there is a little guide I use to check in with myself when making a big decision. Before I take on any big project, I ask myself the following questions:
Will this move me forward?
Will my partner/kids/family/friends be proud of me?
Will I be proud of myself?
Will I sleep well tonight?
If it was published in a national newspaper, would I be ok with it?
If I answer to YES to any of the above questions, I know I’m on the right track. If I hit yes on all five, I know this is something I’ve just GOT to do.
So next time you have a big decision to make, in your career or your personal life, try asking yourself these questions first.
And remember, almost any decision can be the right decision. Show up, back yourself and do the work to see it through. – Tweet it!
Let me know in the comments about a time you’ve worked through the fear of ‘making the wrong decision’. I’d love to hear from you!
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