From the moment you wake up you are faced with a myriad of decisions, each one leading you to a different experience. A little bit like a board game, with a roll of the dice leading you to a new square. When you arrive, ask yourself: is it a place you’d like to hang out for a while, or do you need to roll again quickly and course correct?
You only have to look at the positive domino effect that takes place when you begin your day with a positive choice. For instance, pushing through the temptation to stay in bed and going for that run means you give yourself the gift of an experience that makes you feel good and boosts your self-confidence from the get go.
Going for a run
Results in the Experience:
Being in nature, feeling good about yourself
Results in the Outcome:
Increased energy levels and self-confidence for the rest of the day.
And yes – you can totally high five yourself for it, too!
You’ve probably heard the phrase:
‘Doing (insert your mood booster activity of choice here…) really sets me up for the day!’
– it’s a sentiment expressed in Susan Jeffers brilliant and best-selling book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’
As you go through each day, it is important to realise that at every moment you are choosing the way you feel. When a difficult situation comes into your life it is possible to tune in to your mind and say, “Okay, choose”.
Decision Making is an Emotional Business
Our subconscious brain logs our life experiences and how they make us feel, creating a library of ‘we like’ vs. ‘we don’t like’ catalogues. Our brains are built to protect us and so they will delve into this library to quickly assess situations and guide you towards pleasure and away from pain. Thus, turning decision making into an emotional business.
Research by Neuroscientists at Yale University revealed just how much our emotions are at play, identifying three key components to decision making:
- Our emotions affect all our decisions.
- Most decisions involved some kind of reward we receive as a result.
- Poor decision-making can be a result of dysfunctional brain activity or the impact of negative emotional states such as extreme anxiety.
This tells us that if we want to make better and more self-supportive choices, we need to challenge any negative emotional assumptions we may be holding on to.
Sounds tricky, but you got this! We believe in you.
The Way Forward
Although your subconscious brain is doing its best to guide you in the background, ultimately you are in control of the type of choices you make.
Here’s 3 of our favourite habits for making choices that’ll leave you feeling as good as you deserve to feel.
Habit One: Map Your Choices
Become aware of the choices you make from the moment you wake up and how they impact you. Do they make you feel good and empowered, or the opposite? If your first choice has led you somewhere that you don’t want to be, don’t panic, and please don’t beat yourself up about it – course correct by making another choice.
Habit Two: Ramp Up the Reward
If you find the curve balls of fear or procrastination getting in your way, ramp up the positive emotional association with doing ‘that thing’. Visualise all you stand to gain, and you’ll create positive ‘toward’ emotions, helping you to push through the resistance. And wait – it gets better… Once you experience the highs that go along with doing ‘that thing’, your subconscious will update its filing system and place this activity on your ‘we like’ list. This is how comfort zones are conquered!
Habit Three: Make Room for What Elevates You
Your happiness and fulfilment is cultivated by the number of opportunities you get in your average day/week to feel good about yourself. At Evolve we call these ‘Elevating Experiences’, in that they quite literally raise you up to live your best life. Identify what your Elevating Experiences are, and then choose to make room for these every-single-day. Don’t let anything get in the way.
And finally, today and every day, make two important Cornerstone Choices:
What kind of person do I want to be today?
What type of day I want to have today?
Once you have these two locked in, making better choices from moment to moment will become instinctual.
Have a great day.