How to Eliminate WHAT IF’ing Everything You Do.
Hey everyone, this is Dr. George Birnbach, and I want to talk to you about avoiding the what if’s in the decisions that you’re making each and every day. You see in psychology, they call this phenomenon counter factual thinking. And it describes how we dwell on the outcomes of actions that didn’t actually take place yet. Sort of like, what if I’d answered that question this way instead of that way? Or what if I’d done that instead of this? What would it have been like? Maybe that would have been a better decision.
Well, we need to trust that we’ve put in the thought and work to make the right decision, and then commit to it. At University of San Francisco, there’s a professor, Jim Taylor, who explains that the bottom line of decision making involves determining which potential decision will offer the best possible outcome based on what we know right now. But there’s no way to have complete certainty in this. Y
ou need to choose your actions according to your values and the time frame that you find yourself in. Brian Tracy always says think in years, not days, but, if you have to get a fast turnaround, a fast outcome, you may need to think I need a fast decision to get this actually moving. And sometimes if you have to focus on now, you’re not gonna be focusing on five years from now. Neither technique is wrong, but the context of what you need changes the approach that you’re gonna use. You see, it’s impossible to know whether the choice you’re making today is 100% right, but instead of feeling powerless, remember that your experience, what got you to where you are, and your gut feelings can be just as powerful a reason to choose as all the research, data, and opinions that you’ve gathered. The kinds of decisions that build excellent practices rarely come down to tossing a coin or even making a choice based on information that’s immediately available.
You should, if possible, take time to find the reason why that you’re choosing the way that you are. This will do two things. First, it’ll eliminate a lot of your fear. And two, if you make a poor decision and it doesn’t turn out the way you want, it gives you a clearer opportunity to learn from that so it helps you in the future. Now in practice, good decisions don’t ensure success, but constantly making bad ones almost always ensure failure. So you need to have a model to process your decisions.
When you’re faced with any decision, evaluate the outcome you want, then the timeline of when you need that outcome by, and then finally, what you need to feel confident about choosing your next action steps. Do the research. Be aware. And most of all, trust yourself.
My name’s Dr. George Birnbach. If you get stuck, give me a call, I’d be happy to help. But until that point where we’re on the phone chatting, I want you to take a step and teach yourself that you can trust yourself.