Decision-making is a skill that all successful people have developed and like any other skill, it can be taught or learnt. Once you improve your ability to make decisions, you will notice an incredible difference in your accelerated progress and success. Indecision stems from a low self-image and from fear. Napoleon Hill understood the power of decision-making and its impact on overcoming fear. For me, this revelation that decision-making is a skill, was one that I didn’t take lightly. Like anything else you want in life, if you focus on it, that is what you move towards, it’s what expands and attracts to you. I started to focus on my decision-making skill and I understood through study that my success depended on it.
Knowledge on its own is just potential power, it is only when it is applied, does it have true power. I started to apply that knowledge and I noticed a massive increase in my results and the increased speed in the direction towards my goal. I came to understand that it is essential for success. How do we develop this skill of decision-making?
Well to do that, we need to go a little deeper into the psyche to the self-image. The self-image is the unconscious version and perception of ourselves. Maxwell Maltz, in his book, “Psycho-Cybernetics” discovered the self-image back in 1960. He was a cosmetic plastic surgeon who noticed a strange observation in his patients. He observed that most of his patients showed a dramatic increase in their confidence and self-esteem after surgery of their physical appearance, while some patients showed no difference. This led him to further study this phenomenon and conclude that changing the physical appearance wassn’t the real secret or key to changing personality and behaviour, there was something else.
This “something else”, he discovered, was the self-image. Dr Maxwell Maltz said, “The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and behaviour. Change the self-image and you can change the personality and behaviour”. There are two images that people hold, one image is the physical appearance that people see in the mirror and another is the “self-image” which is a person’s perception of themselves. The self-image is one of the guiding forces behind success. You can only go as far as your self-image allows you. Therefore, your decisions you make are intrinsically based on that self-image and the belief you have in yourself. In my own journey to create “Phil Hunter Coaching”, I had to change and improve my self-image using several techniques and tools.
At the start, when making decisions, the information that was going through my mind raced with deep contradicting and analytical thoughts. There is a name for this feeling, it’s called ambivalence. When that feeling of ambivalence is experienced as negative or unpleasant, that ambivalence is known as cognitive dissonance, which the brain usually handles by avoidance and procrastination.
I had a clear vision of where I wanted to go and as my self-image grew and my belief in myself and my abilities grew, so too did my decision-making skills. Previously, my decisions were slow and calculated which I always thought was because I was very analytical and calculated, but that was just an excuse I told myself. I didn’t know any better. I soon came to discover, my problem stemmed from a lack of vision and belief in myself and my ability to achieve what I put my mind to. As my confidence, self-esteem and self-image all improved through this process of improving my self-image, my decisions became quicker and I stuck by them until I accomplished it. When I needed to purchase something that was going to improve my business or myself, that decision came quickly and efficiently, based on the fact if I need it or not, and not on all the other clouding factors such as money, time or fear.
I understood that investing in myself is the biggest investment I can make, with an unimaginable ROI. Anything that was in line with my vision and which would lead to my growth (of myself or my business), I would make that decision quickly and immediately and then back it up through the required action.
No one can see you making decisions, but they will almost always see the results of you making decisions. Never forget, not making decisions, or being indecisive, is a decision in itself, and will lead to the corresponding results. Like any other muscle or mental faculty, working on improving your self-image, having a clear focus on what you want, and by practicing and using your decision-making skill, it will become stronger and through the repetition of practice and application, it becomes part of who you are. You ultimately become a great decision-maker, and through your quick and efficient decisions, you move towards your goals at a vastly accelerated rate and you will achieve the results you want in life.
“Successful people make decisions QUICKLY and FIRMLY. Unsuccessful people make decisions SLOWLY, and they CHANGE THEM OFTEN” – Napoleon Hill
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