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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Courageous Decisions

If there is something that I can recommend as a sure way to live an amazing and fulfilled life, it is to make courageous decisions. This has nothing to do with risky behavior. And here is why:

Risky behavior: The rush of adrenaline, escaping the daily grind for just a moment, no matter the consequences or the cost. Now this is not the way to go for a steady increase of life quality and life fulfillment. How can making courageous decisions be then? And what is the difference?

I want to start with my observations of why some of my clients come out of coaching with a life beyond their dreams, while others quit the coaching process early and have achieved little towards their goals that prompted them to come to coaching in the first place. Whereas I have always the same 100 % support and my expertise and positive regard to offer, the outcome is quite opposite.

What´s the difference? There comes a point in the coaching process (as in life in general, for all of us), when a decision has to be made in order to achieve something different from the current outcomes. Einstein defined madness a continuing the same actions while expecting a different outcome. While the quote makes it so obvious, it is done all the time. People want to keep smoking, when they try to quit smoking, for example. That´s the reason they don´t succeed to quit. On the surface they know what giving up smoking means, but they want to continue with the habit, the ritual, not changing anything around it and about it. Again, this is obvious for the observer that it can´t succeed, yet the dynamic is just such: wanting different outcomes without changing anything.

I know from my own few courageous decisions in my life (which set things in motion to change my life beyond my wildest dreams) that there is a phase, when what is is not satisfying anymore. It´s like a piece of clothing that does not fit anymore. Yet is is so familiar a piece of clothing that we don´t want to give up on it at first. But as the dissatisfaction grows, the despair grows, life becomes dark, flat, listless. That is when a courageous decision is needed. It is the sure sign that what ails us can be healed with a realignment with what we are truly about. Somewhere we have left that path without noticing. It is time to set a new course.

Making a courageous decision is very invigorating. We get excited again about the world, people, about who we are, full of liveliness. In the very moment, we make that courageous decision, it is as if we are already there where we decided to go. It is no matter of should or must anymore. We WANT. We can easily do what it takes from then on. We are committed. I love that moment with all of my clients because I know how great they will feel, how much more alive they will be. I am sad for any client who chooses not to go there and does not give himself that gift of a courageous decision. Shady reasons are being mumbled, excuses and logical reasons why not, at least not now. Lack of time and money are the usual ones to be blamed. But it is just a sad excuse. Nothing is worth more than our own liveliness. Nothing. Once we caught on fire for our life, nothing can stop us. Also, we won´t need the adrenaline rush from any risky behavior, once we are on our own unique courageous journey. It is the best journey we could ever choose to be on. I urge you to keep your dream alive and not succumb to lame excuses. At the very least, see them for what they are - excuses - and ask what´s behind them: fear, fear of what? What would be the worst outcome if you tried? Even a failed attempt is so much better than never to try. Baby steps forward are enough. Sometimes it is enough not to go backwards, like using the same excuses as before. Just standing in the middle of the doubt, the fear, just letting it happen can sometimes be beginning of moving forward.

My wish is for all of us to always keep the commitment to ourselves to at least give it a try and take a look at it when it does not feel alive like life itself. Somewhere we left our path, but it is always there to go back on it. And that is when I celebrate with you like with any of my clients. Enjoy your journey!