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The Greatest Enemy of Decision Making

"Have you ever wanted to move to a new stage of life, a new career, get into shape, lose a few pounds, have a better relationship with a friend, spouse, or loved one? What is holding you back? I believe our greatest enemy is: Inertia!" ~Bill Mason

Inertia: a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged

Decision making is hard. With so many choices, and the desire to do things "right" we can often get stuck by inertia.

This week I hope to bless y'all with a post about decision making from a fellow coach named Bill Mason. Read on for his fantastic perspective and practical strategies for moving past inertia and into a life you will love! (note: some editing has taken place for brevity)

"Inertia comes in many forms: ' It's almost good enough', 'I need to wait until the perfect timing', 'I am not smart enough', 'I am not talented enough', 'If only....'. These are all excuses and lies that we all believe and tell ourselves daily.

What if we could overcome this inertia and move forward with our decisions with one simple new thing we do?

Sounds too good to be true? It could be, but I have found that having a Coach has been a key to overcoming this problem in my life. Here are some examples of how my coach has helped me in practical ways:

1. In many decisions I have let fear keep me from moving.

When I become anxious or fearful, my mind starts to race 100 miles an hour, and I struggle to shut it off. At least 90 percent of the fears that I have never come to pass, so most of that emotional energy is wasted on nothing. The result is that fear also kills my desire for fulfillment. If I focus on fear, I will not reach fulfillment in my life.

Coaching has helped me by allowing me to voice these fears, dissolve their sources, and replace them with my long term desires. My goals then become my compass and true north for my brain's activities, creating positive fuel to move me forward.

2. Living reactively does not meet our deepest needs. As we go about our daily lives, we rush from one thing to another and look back after yet another week and think, "Have I really accomplished anything this week?!" This can create a deep-seated dissonance between what I am doing, what I value, and what I want out of life long term.

Coaching has helped me to identify several simple questions to help process these feelings in a way that moves me forward:

  1. What makes this worth pursuing?

  2. What is causing me to feel stuck?

  3. How does this align with who I am, and who I want to be?

  4. If I look back in 20 years, what advice would I give yourself?

  5. Who am I becoming through this decision?

These questions help me to process the dissonance I feel and how to say "No" to the urgent activities that pop up every day. This allows me margin to say "Yes" to what I value most.

3. Sometimes I get stuck because I have only one frame of reference. I try to make a decision through one frame of reference or decision-making strategy. Since I cannot find a path using this strategy, I stay immobilized by it. Having another person asking me questions from another decision-making strategy has been of great value to me as well. A few examples of strategies to consider are:

  1. Rationale: "What are the pros and cons of pursuing each option?"

  2. Relational: "How will this course of action affect those around me? Family, Co-workers, Friends?

  3. Alignment: "How well does this decision align with my passions, values, calling?

  4. Spiritual: "What decision would best align with my faith? What is God saying to me about this?

  5. Cost: "What would it cost me in terms of time and resources to do this? What would it cost me if I do NOT do this? What cost is there to me if I do nothing and make no choice?

  6. Risk/Reward: "What is the payoff for each opportunity? What is the opportunity cost of each? What is the risk? What steps could minimize the risk involved?"

I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have. It's important to note that ALL of us at one time or another get caught up in inertia. The difference between staying there and making successful changes is having someone available to help process the source of inertia, guide you through the available options, and hold you accountable to moving forward.

If you are experiencing inertia, I'd be happy to help you determine your next steps. Start the process of learning to navigate this stage of your life with confidence by scheduling your free Discovery Call with me today:

Bill Mason

As an Executive Coach, I help others to become Great at Their Strengths, Meet their Goals, and Become the Best version of themselves! /

Portions of this article are from: Coaching Questions: A Coaches Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus, and Co-active Coaching: Changing Business Transforming Lives by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth.


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