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EVALUATING YOUR DECISIONS LIKE THE WORLDS BEST CSI AGENT
Welcome back to this week’s blog post. I am so excited about this one because it builds on last week’s Coming Out Gold Podcast episode on a deeper and more strategic level. Today I am offering a framework to help you evaluate your decisions like the world’s best CSI agent. This will ensure you make decisions with ease and confidence.
WHAT IS A CSI AGENT?
May I ask a question? Are you a fan of the countless CSI tv shows? I don’t watch them because they stress me out, but I get why others love them so much.
Doing some research I found that a CSI agent is responsible for extracting every possible piece of evidence. In addition, they identify, collect, preserve, and package evidence so the criminal case can be put together in a way that leads to finding the bad guy. Their role is vital to capturing the criminal.
We need to start making decisions with the precision of a CSI agent.
THE DECISION-MAKING STRUGGLE
A common challenge I see many women face is an inability to make swift, confident decisions. Overthinking and analysis paralysis have a chokehold on many women. I believe women want to end the need to deliberate every single decision they make. They want to be confident in making decisions because they move from the posture of power we discussed last week. I think they also want to make decisions not based on the priorities and values they hold dear.
I firmly believe if we get clear on who we are, understand what we want out of life, and have a roadmap for getting there, the concept of analysis paralysis will become a thing of the past.
WHY WOMEN STRUGGLE
I understand why women experience these challenges. The world has made it seem like making a mistake is bad and wrong. Heck, our entire education system measures students in a way that punishes mistakes and rewards success. As a result, many of us live with the constant fear of getting things wrong.
It is wrong to not choose because you fear getting it wrong. It is wrong to have your life held prisoner because of analysis paralysis. Let’s be clear on this: NOT making a choice IS making a choice. Inaction is as much a choice as taking action. It just yields different results.
THREE TYPES OF DECISIONS
To start us all off on the same foot, I turned to the world wide web for info on decision-making. I found three types of decisions kept appearing across all the articles I read:
Strategic decisions are typically long-term and complex. This might be mapping out your educational path toward becoming a brain surgeon.
Tactical decisions are shorter term and less complex. An example of this could be a business launching a new product to capitalize on the summer season.
Operational decisions are the ones we make day-to-day. They are often simple and routine. We all make these on repeat…things like what to have for breakfast, when to get your oil changed, and what to wear to work today.
THE CSI FRAMEWORK
Author Cheryl Strayed says in her book Tiny Beautiful Things: “Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things befall you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.”
Today I want to share a simple framework that when applied will make decision-making a breeze. And because you know I love a good acronym I call it CSI.
Let’s talk capacity. Capacity is defined as the ability to contain or deal with something.
When we are facing a decision, the first question we must ask ourselves is: do we have the capacity to add this to our plates? You must answer realistically here. It isn’t about what you wish you could take on or even what you want to take on. Instead, it’s about telling the truth about where you are in your current season of life. If saying yes to this decision is something you can manage and manage well without it tipping over your stress level into a code red situation, then you can move on to stewardship.
Next, we want to evaluate our decision based on stewardship. Stewardship, in this instance, means the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care such as our time, energy, finances, and natural resources. We need to ensure we are taking care of the resources we have by creating healthy boundaries and protecting them well. If the decision you are making is something you have the capacity for and it allows you to be a good steward of your time and energy, then you can move to the final phase of our framework.
BRACE FOR IMPACT
Now for the I…Impact. This is about getting the most bang for the buck. Ask yourself: will saying yes to this decision move you forward in your life, goals, relationships, and dreams? Impact gives a marked, significant, and powerful effect so saying yes to something that will create a positive impact is amazing. It is like jet fuel for our life propelling us forward faster.
To illustrate the power of impact let me share with you a quote from poet Danielle Doby on the power of small acts: “When you create a difference in someone’s life, you not only impact their life, you impact everyone influenced by them throughout their entire lifetime. No act is ever too small. One by one, this is how to make an ocean rise.”
That is the impact I want us to have in this world because it is how our world will change for the better.
ON A SIDE NOTE
Now side note: as you evaluate your decisions through the lens of the CSI framework, I want to be sure you are permitting yourself to be you. Consider your risk tolerance and emotional well-being. In no way whatsoever should you feel that this framework is the boss of your life, pushing you to do things you don’t want to do. It is the exact opposite of that.
The CSI framework is a guardrail you can use to keep you on the track you choose for your life.
If you will evaluate your decisions through the filter of capacity, stewardship, and impact, you will find yourself saying yes to the things that propel you forward with intention in the direction you have decided you want to move.
THE CHALLENGE IS ISSUED
Today I challenge you to pick one decision you have been pondering and evaluate it through the CSI framework. Use it to help you confidently make that decision and begin moving forward.
I want to remind us again that we need to normalize not always getting things right. Seriously. Most of our decisions aren’t life and death yet if we make a misstep, we punish ourselves as if they were. If you make a bad decision, stop judging yourself. Evaluate how – or if – it could have been different and then learn from it. Again, the odds are it wasn’t a life or death decision. You can handle some tension or some consequences and will come out the other side stronger and wiser for having allowed yourself a misstep.
DEPLOY THE CSI FRAMEWORK
By employing this method for making decisions, you will become more confident in your ability to make wise decisions. You will move forward toward your dreams and live a life filled with intention and purpose. In addition, you will also buy back some of your time instead of frittering it away on being stuck in inaction.
Applying the CSI method for evaluating capacity, stewardship, and impact will help you stop procrastinating your progress, put an end to second-guessing yourself, and break free from old stories.
SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF MAKING DECISIONS
In the week ahead, I want you to check in with yourself. Zoom in on any areas you feel friction. Grab your CSI magnifying lens and assess those areas based on your capacity, stewardship, and impact. Apply your active core values to them to make certain they are aligned with who you are becoming. When you do this, you will solve the mystery of decision-making and win the day by living your life on your terms. And what could be better than that?
Until next time, remember, I am in it WITH you, always,