How to Break Out of the ‘Either, Or’ Decision Trap
Have you ever gotten caught in the ‘Either, Or’ Trap when making a decision?
I was recently talking with a friend who was trying to think through a career transition and was contemplating some pivots of things she could do. The conversation cadence went something like this, “You know, I have a great opportunity with company x, so I could either move forward with them or pursue some speaking gigs.” “I also have interest from company y and have been asked to do some coaching and mentoring. So, I could work with company y, or really dig into the coaching and mentoring.”
It’s easy to fall into that ‘Either, Or’ trap when we are thinking through life and career options since it’s been a decision-making process we’ve been trained into for many years!
Think back over your life when people would tell you that, “you can do either this, or you can do that.” Or, “you can be either this, or you can be that.” Make your choice!
Yeah, I remember plenty of those throughout my life!
But, does that have to be the case with our decisions?
I encouraged my friend to think about her decisions through a different lens. What if the answer you are looking for didn’t have to be ‘either, or’, but could be ‘and’?
She said, “I never thought of it like that. This completely flipped the way I can look at these decisions!”
3 Key Tips to Embrace Your AND:
- Look Around You: Observe others in your life who are creating multiple streams of impact. You’ll probably notice that they have a passion for something, unique talents and skills, and there is a marketplace where people are willing to pay them for the work they are doing (we aren’t talking about you finding another hobby!). Talk with them and learn how they went about building this multi-faceted life. You can learn a lot from them as well as get inspired to really connect with your unique skills and talents!
- Capacity & Systems: Once you speak with these people, you’ll probably notice that they have identified how much they can do in each area (i.e. capacity). It’s about understanding your capacity and having the right organizational systems in place to do great work. Start to outline the time you could allot to this work and the systems you would need to put into place.
- Scale & Patience: It would be foolish to believe that we could do everything 100% right out of the gates. The reality is that we need to start methodically. I would recommend devoting the majority of your time to the area of work that is generating and delivering significant and/or stable cashflow. Then begin carving out time for your ‘and’ to begin working on your craft, product, or content. As this begins to gain traction, you can use your systems (refer to point No. 2 above) to do more, create more, and scale up your work. This will take both patience and consistency!
How would your life look if you used the ‘and’ strategy to move you toward a more authentic place in your life?
Would your passion soar?
Would you feel more fulfilled?
Could you dream of new paths?
The truth is that when we limit our thinking in traditional ways that put our abilities in silos, we not only cheat ourselves, but we cheat the world out of what we were each uniquely designed to create!
Cheers to you and what you’ll bring to this world! We need you!
** To see the video version of this, please check out my YouTube channel!