Amy McLean - The Art of Decision Making

Last year I spent some time with some very epic girls in the amazingly scenic spot - Waiheke Island - as part of an empowerment programme. These girls, like many of us were looking at life through the lens that is “where do I go next?”


In true “me” fashion, the best way I believe to share wisdom is through storytelling. So I told them the story of me. Well, not the whole story (that would have taken a lot longer than 10 minutes!), but the chapter on some impactful decisions I made in my life.

There were three points I put out to them:

1. Very few decisions in our lives are “forever decisions”.

In fact, I think I can count the “forever decisions” I’ve made on one hand (one being having my two daughters). When we talk about making decisions in our lives, whether it’s what subjects to take at school, whether to do uni or travel, whether to take this job or that, we must remember that they’re not forever.

Way too often we act like they are, putting all kinds of enormous pressure on ourselves. And our ability, or inability, to make decisions can bring big stresses into our lives.

There are two types of decisions that we make on a regular basis. Unconscious decisions, things like what to have for breakfast (though the procrastinators in us will sometimes make this conscious), whether we should buy petrol today or tomorrow, what time we should go to bed. These are decisions we make really without too much thought put behind them.

Then there are those that are a little more hairy. They make our hearts go a little fluttery. The ones that determine whether we stay in our comfort zone, or stretch out into the unknown. You know the ones. Things like leaving jobs, starting businesses, moving house, city or country.

But even these big hairy, scary decisions are not forever decisions. We can always move home. We can always find another job again. So we shouldn’t let the pressure of “what if” and “what might happen” hold us back from jumping at those opportunities.


2. Think about how these decisions affect your bigger picture goals.

Your ultimate dreams. That purpose that gets you out of bed every day, that sits in the back of your mind, keeping you going when you feel like quitting.

It’s just a mini check-in. I’m about to make change in my life, does it support where I want to be in 6 months time? 12 months? 5 years?

If so, take a step forward. If not, think about the real reason this is coming up for you. Is it a change it direction to what you actually want? Or is it you retreating back to your comfort zone because things are getting a little tough?

3. Take advice and criticism with love, and then do what feels right for you.

Firstly, we must understand that most of the time, those in our lives who are giving us advice, come from a place of love, compassion and caring for us. They want the best for us. So when we receive this advice (or criticism) accept it graciously with love.

But don’t follow it just because they told you to. You know what is best for you. Take their words of wisdom onboard to give you a clearer picture and perhaps a new perspective, then trust your intuition and make your own decision.

Lean into what feels right for you with full awareness of the decision you are making. And hey remember, if it doesn’t work out, it’s not a forever decision.

Don’t live life sitting in the “what if” space. Make decisions that support your journey to where you want to go. If I hadn’t trusted my intuition every time a big decision came up, and believe me, there have been some big ones, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. And I love where I am today.


Amy McLean

Amy McLean is the founder of Let’s Lead and M4 Collective, a life and business coach and consultant for dreamers, doers and believers. She’s passionate about supporting others to dive deep and really identify their own journey to success, in whatever form that might be.