I was talking with a colleague and friend the other day and the topic of making decisions came up.
During the conversation, the light went on. We hold on to our decisions forever. They are placed in a trunk that we open and troll through on a regular basis. We even shake off the dust so we can see the decision more clearly. We never focus on the outcome. We focus on the decision. For some unknown reason, we ruminate on the situation, the people, the outcome, or the feeling that it was the wrong decision and we could have made a better one.
We feel guilty for our decisions whether they were good decisions, bad decisions, or no decision. We even feel guilty for decisions that other people make. How many times have we said “I am so sorry that (fill in the blank).”? How many times have we apologized for decisions that we made after we made them? Better yet, how many times have you apologized for something that someone else did? It is a great way to allow them to abdicate their accountability.
We have turned guilt in to a true art form. We have forgotten that we can’t un-ring the bell. We don’t have the time travel capabilities aka Dr. Who and the Travelling Telephone booth. All we can do is hope that we learned to let the decision go and the lesson come.
Give yourself and your team permission to make the best decisions they can. Let them make decisions you disagree with or that you would do differently. Let them learn. Then, let it all go. They’ll get better at making decisions. Not your decisions, their decisions.
I am going to quote a very famous person, my mother. I have no idea where she found the quote or if it is hers originally. She always said
“Every decision, I ever made was a good decision.
The day that I made it based on
the knowledge and experience that I had at the time.”
To quote one of my team members, “it is what it is.”
Can you think of a decision that you should let go? Are you feeling guilty? If the answer is yes, can you fix it? If yes, fix it. If the answer is no, let it go. You can’t move forward if you have one foot firmly anchored in the past.