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Staying in control of your decisions

Charlotte Randall
Charlotte Randall

We have all had to make choices in our life that have required decisions to be made to affect an end goal. The bigger the end goal the more resilient you need to be to aspire to achieve it. Once the wheels are in motion towards your target you embark on a journey that will test your commitment, resolve and emotional stance. Excitement of the possibilities ahead is often the first emotion and the driving force behind the energy that supports the planning phase of the change process. However, as major new experiences loom excitement can start to wane and in its place fear is waiting.

When fear takes hold behaviours alter and coming off your trajectory is a very plausible outcome. You start to convince yourself that you’re still in control, you know what you’re doing and where you’re going; you push on with ever increasing urgency trying to make your mental map (where you think you are going) fit with where you actually are. The longer you operate in this paradigm the easier it is for fear of failure to manifest; lurching from one irrational decision to another looking for the emotional reprieve a particular course of action might bring, hoping that equilibrium will once again be restored.  This is neither a sustainable nor a productive environment in which to operate and holds the potential of derailing your pursuits altogether.

Maintaining control of your decisions as the situation evolves and avoiding emotion alone dictating the next move you make is paramount. Very few successful outcomes are achieved unaided and it is important to develop relationships that provide objectivity to the process and explores the purposefulness of each decision, aligned with the end goal. Utilising the skills of a coach to facilitate a solutions focused conversation and the management of emotions along the journey, is a potentially powerful relationship to hold; one that will help you to stay on track and in control of your thinking and direction.  A coaching relationship then can provide the following scaffold:

1.    Planned time and space to think – the challenge will not feel so overwhelming when you have the opportunity to focus on it without interference.

2.    Talk and be heard – by having someone really listen to your challenge you can establish (re-establish) momentum, clarity of the situation and a solid baseline from which to move forwards.

3.    Solution focused communication – the conversation remains positive, giving you permission to connect with the possibilities through the development of challenging action planning.

4.    Respect for your emotions – the support to be brave enough to consider from the outset your emotional triggers, default reactions as a result and the empowerment to do something about them so you do not derail.

5.    Celebrate achievement – encouragement to congratulate yourself on the small achievements and positive experiences along the way. In a situation where the end goal seems so great, or so far out of reach, it is important to recognise that you are making a difference with your actions.

6.    Importantly a coach will retain your focus on the original impetus for change and when challenging situations arise remind you it really excited you once and it can again!

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