As business people, we all make decisions based on what we tell ourselves are projections and predictions of the future. In part, that is true. But the other part, the smaller and oftentimes ugly part, is that we make decisions based on scars, phobias and failures of the past.
Within all of us, there are demons that cloud and distort our vision, tilting us toward paths that are safe and sacred and away from routes that may be far straighter lines to success. But in spite of this clear contrast, we often choose the path of least resistance, not in terms of business obstacles but in avoiding the warnings and the fears of the ghosts of the past that are all too alive in the here and now.
I have always been afraid of failure so every time I am about to take a new risk (in a life based to a great extent on risk), I feel a gravitational pull to hold back and play it safer than I would like. A ghost of the past, alive in the here and now, warns me of the impact this may have on my success quotient. I wind up making a decision, usually expeditiously but often in a somewhat more controlled fashion, than if the ghost wasn’t there proffering a pointed opinion. Or perhaps, holding a mental sword over my head.
We believe that we make decisions on our own, based on the free market, on pure business dynamics but the fact is, we do not act alone. For all of us–regardless of how strong-minded, free-spirited and independent we pride ourselves to be–the ghosts are always there, making the choices with us.
This is good and bad. When the ghosts instill fear in us or seek to keep us somewhat close-minded, we are locked in a place that limits our true potential–in a sense a slave to another who has placed roadblocks in our way.
On the one hand, when the ghost is a mentor whose guidance–even demanding and unrelenting as it may be–influences our decision-making, our emotions, can have a powerfully positive effect.
In either case, in all cases, we will benefit if we know why we act, who we are seeking to please, why it matters so much to us, how we can gain clarity of vision and most of all, how we can set ourselves free to act completely on our own intelligence and instincts.
And to put the ghosts to rest.Email This Post