Doing Life Together

work-2005640_1280Jack was passed over for a promotion. When he asked why, his boss said, “You have trouble making decisions in the face of uncertainty. I need someone whose emotions won’t cloud their judgment. Someone who is willing to move forward under pressure. Unfortunately, I don’t think that person is you.” So what does Jack need to work on when it comes to positioning himself for promotion?

To begin, Jack has to work on staying calm in the middle of uncertainty. If Jack gets emotionally worked up and begins to fear things that could happen or go wrong, the thinking part of his brain disengages. He can easily get worked up by thinking of the all the possible negatives associated with a decision or uncertainty. He would do better if he could focus on the positives. So he is practicing turning his attention to one or two positives when he feels overwhelmed. This shift in focus calms him down and he can think more clearly.

Next Jack has to realize that he will never be completely certain of any decision he makes. Most of us gather all the facts we can and then decide. So for Jack, he needs to work at getting informed and then act. He can’t know or control all sides of a decision. Sometimes mistakes happen. Most times, he will have to move forward with what he knows and step out.

When there is a problem, Jack gets singularly focused. But this stresses him out. Instead, he can recognize a problem, but not dwell on it and control the part of the process that he can. This involves learning to trust his gut and go with what his experience and information tells him. If his direction doesn’t work, he can have a back up plan.

Finally, Jack needs to look at what is making him so indecisive. Is he afraid to make a mistake? Afraid of the consequences that come with decisions? Worried that he will let someone down? Does he want to please people too much? Whatever the cause, he needs to fix it, maybe with brief counseling or coaching.

At the end of the day, Jack needs to take a deep breath and say, “I did the best I could. I worked hard and tomorrow is another day.”

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