Choices – Angst or Energy

To-do or not to-do, that is the question. There will not be a day that passes wherein you will not be faced with the task of making a choice – whole wheat or rye, backwards or forwards? Sometimes it doesn’t matter which way you go so long as you did something.  However, sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the choices at hand and consumed with angst over the possible outcome from our choices that we choose not to choose. Reality is, choosing not to make a decision is already a decision – and choosing not to decide at all out of fear of making the “wrong choice” is worse than making the wrong decision. This angst and this fear is bred from lack of self-confidence. Choices are what fill in the gap between knowing and doing. Confidence is the energy that gets you crossing over the gap.

Contrary to popular belief, choices (or decisions) are not made logically; they are made emotionally. I believe that feelings of confidence – confidence in ourselves and/or others – either, propels or repels us towards our goals.

Making a choice in isolation is like flying a plane alone in a dark fog without any equipment or resources to help. It becomes guesswork.  You are not alone and not without resources. Your relationships are a key part of your resources. Bouncing an idea off someone or asking for help with what seems to be a complicated choice can add clarity to something that otherwise would remain foggy.

This is by no means a sign of weakness, rather a real source of strength.

As professionals who speak, particularly if we’re a member of a GSF association, we have a network of other professionals to call upon. Call upon to verify, to get a second (or third or fourth) opinion, and to benefit from the experience of others in developing a second right answer.

This is not about the simple gathering of opinions of others, but more about getting the right blend of knowledge and experience so that you feel supported following your decision. It’s that support that gets you out of that fog, over the clouds and sailing into clear skies.

The Global Speakers Summit has defined Choices as:  “An action or inaction resulting in a decision between 2 or more possibilities, which in turn, impacts the destiny of individuals, organizations and countries.”  Earlier I said that “choice” fills in the gap between knowing and doing – but the fuel “to-do” is the energy that comes from confidence. Confidence that you acquire through your network of professional contacts and relationships.  Getting rid of, or minimizing, the ‘angst’ in making choices is achieved by building confidence in yourself, your abilities, your skills and your experience.

It is one thing to do and/or improve that things that will make you more successful today, it is quite another to ensure that you are doing the things you need to do to be “successful again” tomorrow – in a changed world.  Whether you are making short-term and/or long-term changes to self, your business, or helping others and their businesses adapt to a changing world, the reality is Choice is energizing when you have confidence.

Sid is the Chair of the Global Speakers Federation 2013 Global Speakers Summit titled: Revolutions. Upheavals. Choices. December 8-10, 2013 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sid Ridgley can be reached at

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