Our life is a reflection of the decisions we make. Who among us has not felt challenged or unsure of ourselves when facing a difficult decision?

How can we feel more confident to make the big, bold, better decisions we want to make to lead the fulfilling lives we came here to live?

Apple or Banana

We make approximately 70 conscious decisions a day. Apple or banana? Car or subway? Stay late or leave early? These are the decisions we are aware of.

only 3%-5% of the decisions we make are conscious. The rest are subconscious. Unlocking our subconscious decision-making can take us to our next level of success and fulfillment. How to do that is the focus of this article.

Our cognitive patterns—our decision-making processes—are largely a subconscious phenomena. Understanding this is critical to our success. The way we think shapes our reactions and decisions. When we gain awareness of our thinking patterns, we can influence our perspectives and the way we perceive and interpret the world around us. In turn, this enables us to make decisions more confidently and with less stress. To build anything, we need tools. What tools are you using to become aware of your thinking, your subconscious biases (including those about yourself)? If you are not using any practice or tools to become aware of your subconscious think you have the answer to why you have not been able to get where you want to go. No worries. Now you know.

Understanding Your Thinking

When we reach our edge—the limit of what we know—we have two options: Repeat what we have done before, or do something new. Doing something new, especially when the stakes feel high, can stop us in our tracks. This is where leadership comes into play. We need to know how to lead ourselves forward. In order to do this we need to become aware of, and understand, our thinking.

Different centers in our brain house different types of thinking. Our frontal cortex helps us imagine and make decisions. Our amygdala hosts our primary emotions such as fear and anger. To make good decisions, we need these two centers to work together. Not unlike any relationship, if we get into a power play, with one side wanting to control instead of connecting and collaborating, we quickly find ourselves in trouble. We need our emotions to inform our decision-making, and we need our logic to help us process our emotions.

When we begin to examine and analyze the way we think about the world (this is precisely what we developed  The StillPoint Experience to do), we begin to make the unconscious conscious. We begin to understand the thinking that is helping us make decisions, find success, and also potentially holding us back.

3 Steps to Better Decision-Making

What holds us back from transformative decision-making? Our habituated thinking. If you are ready to leave it all on the table and get to your next level, to take a chance on yourself, then grab the reins of mastering the art of decision-making by recognizing that the next level of success and fulfillment is all in your mindset.

Here are the three steps I’ve seen work for folks grappling with these issues.

1. Become aware of your thinking. Admit and recognize your current biases, which until this point have been unconscious. Bring them to light. Admit them, examine them, and own them. We created The StillPoint Experience to help you do this.

2. Give yourself the opportunity to change your approach and behavior. Science shows us how unwilling most people are to accept new ways of thinking. Even blatant contradictory facts aren’t enough to make us change our points of view. Release this. Changing your point of view is the best thing you can do for yourself. There is no shame in changing your mind or your mindset—in fact, it’s brave and it’s liberating. Make space for it.

3. Understand that the inner workings of your thinking create your worldview, which may be an outdated mindset or an inaccurate reality. This is big: Are you open enough to let it go? Can you let yourself believe in a new reality? You’ll have to believe in one to live in one.

Challenging our own biases is a decision we can make that can transform our lives and the lives of others. It’s not easy, but it will pay off. The art of decision-making will serve you for your entire life, and in every facet of your life. Open yourself to new ways of thinking. Become your mind’s own master. It may be challenging, but it is always worth it.

Are you and your teams ready to unlock your thinking so you can unlock your future?

Vista Caballo is equipping and empowering mission-driven leaders to become unstoppable in leading their best lives and solving our world’s challenges. Mission-driven leaders know that only through the power of self-discovery will they be able to create solutions to the current social and environmental challenges they face.

Join us. Recode uncertainty into an opportunity for growth and transform yourself, your company, and our planet.