Our self-help columnist Athena Laz is a psychologist and the creator of the online programme Own Your Power. She works with women worldwide, helping them to reclaim their ability to feel good. You can see her work here.
I really love your column! I’m going through a big change in my life and need to make some important decisions, but I’m afraid that I’ll make the wrong one. I’m deciding whether to stay in my job or to take the leap and go after my dream of becoming a business owner. What do you think I should do?
It can feel so hard to make decisions that alter your life! When you are in a state of fear, the instinct is to want to hand over the decision-making process. That way you don’t have to take responsibility for how it all turns out. Just know that you have the inner power to make the right decision and that you can move forward confidently.
It’s also helpful when you feel stressed about a big change to look at your issue from all angles.
Right now, you believe that you only have two options: to start your own business or stay exactly where you are. A third option may be to start your business as a side hustle and then transition out of your job when you feel more secure? Try and bounce off more ideas with an impartial person or seek advice from someone who has actually achieved what you want. (You can read this article on how to find a mentor). Here are three helpful steps that you can take to make a big decision with confidence:
Step 1: Imagine your worst fears and then decide if they are real
There is rational and irrational fear – and it’s your job to figure out which one is happening for you.
Rational fear is designed to keep you safe when there is a real threat. Irrational fear has no basis in reality and is usually the underlying motivator in indecision and inaction.
For example, a rational fear would be exploring whether you would be able to financially take care of yourself for at least a year if your business didn’t make money. Rational fear is primed to keep you safe. Irrational fear is thinking that everything will fail because you always fail and that nothing you do ever works out. Irrational fear is staying put when there is actually no real threat holding you back.
So allow yourself to imagine what may happen when you make a change. You can do this by simply quietening your mind and mentally playing out a few scenarios of what will happen when you take the leap. Notice how you feel in the process and where you mind leads you too. When you face your fears, you inevitably arrive at a point where you can decide what is actually in your best interest.
Step 2: Look at the quality of your self-talk
Making a big decision with confidence means that you need to actually feel confident. Most of the time people lack confidence because the quality of their self-talk is locked in self-judgement and criticism. So, flipping the script on negative self-talk is helpful in the process of change. You can learn how to do that here.
Step 3: Listen to your intuition
Your intuition is a superpower and when you understand that, you automatically step out of fear. You can enhance your intuition by meditating daily and by actively beginning to notice when your gut instinct is correct. Part of making this decision with confidence is by listening to your intuition, working out your fears and then taking action.
You can follow Athena on Instagram here and see more of her work at Athenalaz.com. If you have a question for Athena, e-mail her here.
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