Making Tough Calls Easier

Chase Ruzek

Why do we wait to pick up the phone and make the call when we know we need to? It’s even easier to put off sending that difficult email or text.

The answer to this question is simple. Our brains are wired to steer us towards comfort, and away from discomfort.

The only thing that makes us pick up the phone is when we fully realize that NOT picking up the phone any longer is going to cause MORE discomfort than making the call.

How can we come to this realization quicker, with less mental agony?

By understanding two things:

1) Our values.
2) Who we want to be (our Future Self).

If we’re deciding whether or not to make the call (or send the email), one option will get us closer to these two things (our values and Future Self), and the other will bring us farther away. When we know exactly what these things are, there is simply less to decide.

When we aren’t super clear on our values and who we want to be, the decision can be excruciating. We end up rationalizing either outcome inside our heads. Multiple times. We start to get confused. We become paralyzed. We don’t pick up the phone. We don’t send the email. And the problem doesn’t go away.

Asking ourselves who we want to be is especially helpful during these difficult moments.

While our values clarify what’s important to us right now, discovering who we want to be tells us how to make decisions as our Future Self. It can actually feel like you’re getting advice from a completely different person.

Tapping into our future self allows us to see what is most important beyond the details of the current situation. 

In order to evolve, grow, and live a more fulfilling life, we have to learn to make decisions from our Future Self. We have to understand who we want to be.

Questions to consider when you’re wrestling with picking up the phone or pressing send:

What is the discomfort telling me that is useful?
What value is most important to honor here?
Looking back on this situation a year from now, what action will Future Self be most proud of?

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