Have you ever had to look up a word that you used often?
This recently happened to me. I came across a powerful word that resonated strongly in my heart and soul. I wanted to make sure I fully understood the meaning now that the commonly used word has come to mean more to me.
The word? Volition.
In the March 2017 edition of SUCCESS Magazine, the word “volition” was used in an article on confidence boosting tips.
Volition is defined as “the cognitive process by which an individual decides on and commits to a particular course of action.” (Wikipedia)
“Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.” – Richard Petty
Last year, I took a 21-day Self-Esteem Workshop offered by a friend of mine. It was a three-week boot camp designed to enhance self-esteem with empowering daily exercises. I signed up for the trial course to support my friend (a fellow Toastmaster), but I definitely could use a bit of confidence.
Okay. A lot of confidence.
On day one of the workshop, my friend asked the students to preface every action we did for the next 24 hours with “I decided.” Such as:
“I decided to take a shower.”
“I decided to wash my hair.”
“I decided to shut off the water.”
It was a simple exercise that changed my life.
I was surprised at how many choices and decisions we make a day. Decisions range from small (like when to hop in the shower) to large (whether to accept or decline a freelance position).
The biggest surprise came from how often I didn’t make a decision. There are moments in my day, and life, where I have stepped back from the process to let other make the decision for me. I have supplied an assortment of choices to avoid making a choice myself. I have let the tick of the clock or other circumstances out of my control determine my path going forward.
“Life is a matter of choices. Every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell
Since the workshop, I have been looking at my life. What decisions am I making? Why am I making this decision? What is my why? Am I making this choice or surrendering my power to an outside force?
The first few times I made a choice — stated a preference — I was surprised by the apologetic tone I heard in my voice.
I decided that I needed to make more decisions. A bit more confidence was all it took to up the conviction in my tone.
I have found that when I make up my mind, put forth an act of choice, I feel empowered. I am doing something I have chosen to do. This was my choice! Good or bad, pass or fail, I own this.
My confidence isn’t depending on the outcome of my choice but the strength in believing that I can make healthy choices and my ability to perform.
Making the decision to make each day our own masterpiece (hat tip to Coach Wooden) allows to take ownership of our lives. Taking ownership enables us to be more invested.
Even the dialogue in my head has shifted from ‘I have to” to “I get to” wash my hair.
Last week, two people commented on my “confidence” at a social gathering. I have a feeling they haven’t seen anything yet.
The more decisions I make, the stronger I become.
I have decided to decide. I have decided to choose.
I have decided to act on my own volition.
So, what have you decided lately? Perhaps it is time to start. “I have decided to . . . ”