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How to be More Assertive and Make Decisions

Decisions have incredible power over our lives. Think of all the pieces of your life you’re thrilled about and the pieces you’re not so thrilled about. All of them have one thread in common: They all result from decisions you’ve made.

So if decisions have such great power to shape our lives – to change the way we’re thinking, change the way we’re feeling – why don’t we use this power? Why do we put off making decisions? The biggest reason is fear. We often avoid making decisions because we’re afraid of failing, of making the wrong decision.

The truth is, if you make the wrong decision, at least you’ll find out quickly. You’re never going to know by sitting on the fence.

“More than anything else, I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny.”–Tony Robbins

General Norman Schwarzkopf used to tell a story about an early mentor of his, a general in the army. In asking the general to make a decision about a problem that had been brewing for 10 years, this group brought huge stacks of documents and complicated, technical explanations.

The general just looked at them and said, “The answer is obvious, gentlemen,” and he gave them the answer. After they left, Schwarzkopf, who was a much lower-ranked officer at the time, asked his mentor how he could possibly have taken such decisive action so quickly.

The general replied, “This has been a decision that no one’s been willing to make for 10 years. The best minds have been on it and they can’t decide, so you know what? We need to pick one and do it. Decisions are power and I’m here to make them. That’s what I’m in this position for. That’s why I’m a leader.” Schwarzkopf never forgot that experience.

When you think about it, trying to be perfect when it comes to decision-making is unproductive. There is no failure in pursuing the course of action that you feel is right, or learning how to be assertive when you need to be. The only real failure is failing to decide, putting off what inevitably you know you need to do.

Do you have some decisions in your life you know you need to make? Could you benefit from learning how to be more assertive? What have you been putting off that you could deal with today? It’s time for you to decide. Sometimes, all it takes is for you to step up. Step away from your fear, put yourself in a courageous state and make it happen. The hardest part about pursuing your dreams is making the decision to do so. After that, it’s easy. It’s being on the fence that makes you feel frustrated and unhappy.

Today, challenge yourself to let go of the fear. Let go of your desire to be perfect and make one decision that you’ve been putting off. Find the strength needed to understand how to be more assertive and pursue what you’ve been avoiding. Then, let the power of that decision propel you off the fence and into greater decisive action. By making these small shifts, you’ll see a big difference in the quality of your life.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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