Making Decisions That Are Good for Everyone
“Think of others first.”
“Don’t be selfish.”
“Put people first.”
Have you heard any of these statements before? Many of us grew up with these ideas instilled in us. Maybe this has left you with the idea that looking after your needs first is selfish.
Wanting to avoid being selfish, you made a different choice — perhaps a choice that put everyone else’s needs before your own.
Putting others first is the kind and noble thing to do, right?
We’ve been conditioned to make decisions in a certain way. Every decision we make for ourselves will affect somebody else.
We’ve learned to make decisions out of guilt.
Guilt that washes over us sometimes when we have to make a decision, and at the core, we really want to please others. The last thing we want to do is disappoint anyone, so we do things that sometimes don’t feel good. We’ll make decisions where we consider how it’ll affect others instead of thinking about how it will affect us.
Maybe it shows up in your life as you saying yes to a client when you’re already stretched thin, or saying yes to a party invitation when what your body needs is some rest.
Making decisions with “shoulds” isn’t serving anyone.
This is you saying, “Ah, I really don’t want to, but I should.”
The word “should” sends off all kinds of red flags in my mind. “Should,” and, “I have to” are called modal operators of necessity. In NLP, when we have those, we know there’s some sort of disempowering behavior that could very well be happening in the environment in the moment.
The other side of decision-making is when we might be seeking instant gratification. Maybe we have a choice between feeling good right now or achieving a bigger long-term goal.
Putting yourself last is a recipe for keeping yourself stuck, exhausted, and becoming an enabler of the weaknesses of others. Doesn’t sound so kind now, does it?
You — and everyone around you — will be better off when you put yourself first.
If you’re shaking your head right now, thinking, “No, no, no — I’m a parent/caregiver/caring and I have to come last.”
The next time you have a decision to make, do an ecology check. It’s an NLP concept that’s based on a trickle-down effect.
We start with you first, then those who are close to you and/or the situation, and finally the broader community. The idea here is to make choices that are good for you, others, and the world.
It always begins with you.
You want your decisions to feel good for you. When arriving at a decision that creates some sort of emotional response inside that may or may not feel so good — perhaps you feel an internal conflict or gut reaction. You say yes in the moment to a decision, and then there’s a “but” immediately after.
“It feels fun but I shouldn’t do this.”
“It feels good but I said I wasn’t going to do this anymore.”
“It feels exciting but I really don’t want to.”
If we’re so used to putting ourselves second, third, or even last, running decisions through this filter for ourselves may feel uncomfortable at first.
And if you ask these questions and you get a yes to all of them and make it a rule that that’s the only time you’re going to proceed, then I promise you that your life is going to change — for the better.
Here’s how the ecology check works. The next time you have a decision to make, ask yourself these questions.
- “Is this good for me?” If the answer is no, stop there. Your decision should be no. If the answer is yes, go on to question two.
- “Is this good for the people directly involved and for the people closest to me?” This could involve your clients if it’s a business decision, your immediate family, your team, etc. If the answer is no, your decision should be no. If the answer is yes, go on to question three.
- “Is this good for the greater community?” If yes, full steam ahead! It’s a win-win-win.
A note here: Be careful about assuming a decision will be “bad” for someone just because they may not like it at first. Look at the long-term big picture. Your kids might not like having to pack their own lunch, but it might be what’s best for them in the long run.
And then, try this decision-making process with every decision, big and small you make for a week. Notice what happens. Do you notice that you feel better about decisions? Are you feeling happier, lighter, more energized?
Your happiness matters. What’s good for you will, in the long run, be what’s best for those closest to you and for your broader community.
The more you’re making decisions that feel good for you, the people around you, and the greater community you get closer to congruency. It’s where everything from your feelings, the benefits of others, and even your results start to align.
When you give, you’ll be able to give from a place of feeling good. And when you’re feeling good, then you have access to more resources. And when you have access to more resources, then you’re really stepping into your power and then can decide what you want from this place of feeling good.
If you’d like to hear more stories on this decision-making process, have a listen to episode #35 of The Mind Revolution Podcast on Making Good For All Decisions.
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I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.