Personal Growth

Add “I decided” to your vocabulary for more confidence

November 4, 2013


Making a decision is empowering. It gives us ownership. It gives us clarity. It gives us authority.

Too often we skirt around really committing to something. We fear being wrong. We fear failing. We fear being confronted. Or we fear being disliked.

If we give into that fear, we lack real power and energy in our lives. We let things get muddled up in our heads and we’re always second guessing everything.

It’s better to think through a situation, seek wise counsel, and then firmly commit to something.

For example, say you want to run a half marathon. Here are five ways you could communicate that:

1. It would be fun to run a half marathon.

2. Do you think I should try to run a half marathon?

3. I think I’m going to run a half marathon.

4. I think I will run a half marathon.

5. I decided to run a half marathon.

It’s easy to see the fifth option is strongest. It implies that you thought about, weighed the options, and now made a decision and are committed to it.

Sure, the others have their place sometimes. But I think we fall into the habit of using them much too often. When we do that, we miss out of the clarity and confidence that comes from actually deciding something and committing to it.

My challenge to you

Next time you’re about to say something like:

– “I think I’m going to…”

– “I think I will…”

– “I don’t think I’m going to…”

– “I don’t think I will…”

– “I think I’m just going to…”

Stop yourself.

Rather, say, “I decided…”

You’ll hold your head higher, have more spring in your step, and be taken more seriously.

Your turn

Think through a situation where you can use the words “I decided” to communicate what you’re going to do. It can be something small like, “I decided to have a turkey sandwich for lunch.” Or, “I decided to spend 20 minutes reading tonight.” Whatever.

Let us know in the comment section what you came up with.

Photo Credit: kaneda99 via Compfight cc

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  • Reply Ann Musico November 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Love this Michael. I use the same principle with clients. Instead of “I can’t” eat something I suggest they say “I don’t” – more empowering! I like “I decided” and I will begin using that language.

    • Reply Michael Good November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Thanks for the input, Ann. With “I can’t” you’re not taking full responsibility. It sounds as though someone else is not allowing you to did it rather than it being something you’re taking ownership for. Good stuff!

      • Reply Ann Musico November 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

        Exactly Michael – with I can’t you are a victim and with I don’t you are making the decision. Much like with I decided – it’s your choice – empowering!

  • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    “I think” I’m going to try your advice. 😉

    • Reply Michael Good November 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Love it, Annette! Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  • Reply Chris Peek November 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Great post, Michael. This is definitely my Achilles heel. I generally want to keep my “options open,” but instead I get a lot less accomplished.

    Recently, Karen and I decided to take a 10-year anniversary cruise. We didn’t say “I think we will if we have enough money.” Instead, I got really focused, made some extra money to pay for it, and booked it. It was really our first week-long trip together (alone) since our honeymoon. The money wouldn’t have been there if I had failed to say, “I decided…”

    • Reply Michael Good November 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Hey Chris, I saw some of your photos from that trip. It looked like a great trip! Way to make a decision and create fun memories.

  • Reply Rick Helfrich November 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Even though I’ve taken action on many more of the things that typically would frighten the hell out of me, I still use “I’d like to,” or “How cool would it be if,” when talking about my aspirations. They will remain simply aspirations, unless I DECIDE to do something about them. Thanks for this post!

    • Reply Michael Good November 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Hey Rick,

      I remember you talking about some of those things in your Blank Canvas video with David and Christina. Way to decide and take action! What’s next for you?

      • Reply Rick Helfrich November 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        After finishing my second Iceman Cometh Challenge last Saturday, I WILL be making the trip to Traverse City an annual trek. I’ll also be tackling at least two century rides in 2014, as well as beginning a cross-fit program to help with whole body endurance. Off the bike, I’m working on an e-book that covers my experiences as a middle-aged married guy, rediscovering cycling. It will include not only on-bike stuff, but tons of maintenance tips for those who are relatively mechanically inclined and/or are looking to save a buck or two on repairs. It’s gonna be an exciting year!

        • Reply Michael Good November 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

          Sounds like you have some exciting things going on, Rick. Love it! Keep up the great work.

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