According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Wow! Sounds all-encompassing and daunting to me. I tend to think of super-heroes as courageous or other people I put upon a pedestal, when the truth is that we all have demonstrated courage at several points in our lives. Life is full of challenges and then there are the dreams we hold back because of a multitude of what we perceive as darn, good valid reasons. This is where Patricia Brooks comes in to help live your biggest, boldest dreams! She wrote a book, Growing Bold: How to Overcome Fear, Build Confidence, and Love the Life You Live and recently moved to France where she is living out bold dreams after leaving her comfort zone. I’m honored to have her as a guest writer, sharing her 5 steps to better decision making, using courage as her driver.

 

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

Five Steps to Better Decision Making

By Patricia C. Brooks

Sometimes we do things, quite unintentionally, that cause us to struggle.  Maybe we buy a house that seemed to fit the bill only to realize soon after moving in, it wasn’t the right one. Or perhaps we continue to date someone we know isn’t right for us long after we have this realization, in order to avoid being alone. The fallout from these actions can make us feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, or helpless, despite our best attempts to do those things that we think will free us from this drama and stress.  What happens next is that we get so caught up in these negative emotions that it’s hard to figure out what decisions to make.  The result is often that we do nothing or that we act rashly to fix what we feel is not working.  Either path can lead us to further anxiety, self-doubt, and struggle. Taking us further away from what we truly want to experience in our lives.

So, what can you do the next time you think you want or need something, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you?

Below are 5 steps you can use to help you make better decisions:

1. Center yourself by taking three deep breaths. This creates space for you to think.

2. Ask yourself, What exactly is it that I want to experience or feel? This is your why behind what you think you want or need.

3. Go deeper, by asking yourself, what will this material item or additional resource (time, money, etc.) allow me to do? Ask yourself this question until you have landed on the positive emotion(s) or feeling(s) you want to experience. (This is the true need.)

4. With an understanding of your true need in hand, brainstorm other ways you can get to those feelings and emotions.  Be sure to write these down.

5. Review your list and choose the one(s) that will satisfy your true need.

 

This exercise is extremely powerful when you allow yourself to go deep.  Try this simple decision-making process and feel more positive the next time you have to make a decision.

About Patricia Brooks:

Patricia Brooks is a certified life coach and speaker.  She is the author of Growing Bold: How to Overcome Fear, Build Confidence, and Love the Life You Live Known as The Courage Catalyst, Patricia helps people, who are underwhelmed by the life they are living, find what makes them happiest.  She inspires them to take bold action and pursue their dreams so they can live the extraordinary lives they were meant to live.

After many years as a project management professional in Corporate America, Patricia found herself dissatisfied and unhappy with her life. After the deaths of her parents, she woke up to the reality that life is short.  Not wanting to die without really having lived, she decided to follow her dream.  Now Patricia has grown bold and is walking the talk. She is currently living in France where she continues to coach and write her next book.

 

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