Today’s episode was sparked by a fantastic share inside our private Uplevel Cafe Facebook Group. After completing several Sunday Summits – a unique ritual for your energy, mindset, and productivity – one of my peeps got a huge a-ha: Unmade decisions were killing her brain.
I loved this for a few reasons. One, she was doing her weekly practice – that’s huge all on its own. Two, she was seeing patterns and making small changes that created big shifts for her business.
She realized unmade decisions could no longer be a thing. Today, I want to help you do the same thing.
I’m referring to Chapter 21 from my book, The Soul Sourced™ Entrepreneur. It’s a chapter called This is Your Brain On Decisions. And my intention is to create a pattern-interrupt as you listen today!
I’ll also share more about The Sunday Summit and how you can put it into practice and experience the power of this tool. Plus, I’m excited about The Sunday Summit Series, where you’ll have me there as your coach – live and in-person – for the first three Sundays in August!
If unmade decisions are draining you right now, they’re taking away vital energy that could be used to generate ideas and income. This episode is about maximizing the use of your time and creativity and exactly how to do just that.
Featured in this Episode
And once you bring it into your awareness, you start to catch yourself in the act of not making decisions.
Welcome to the Soul-Sourced™, unconventional business advice for the highly creative, secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneur. I’m your host, Christine Kane. Let’s do this.
Well hello my friends. Welcome to episode number 53. And we’re going to have a conversation about decisions. In particular, we’re going to talk about unmade decisions. And this was inspired by a post in our Uplevel Cafe group, where someone had posted that she had done the Sunday summit and that there were three unmade decisions that she had discovered. And if you got my book, The Soul-Sourced™ Entrepreneur, and you went to SoulSourcedBook.com and you downloaded the tools, one of the tools you got is called the Sunday Summit, and there is a section in the Sunday Summit that walks through, it doesn’t walk through, It’s just has you list, and really mine for, any decisions that are, you’re putting off, you’re avoiding, they’re not made.
And the reason we do this is because any kinds of decisions that we avoid or that we just sort of say, yeah, I’ll get to that soon or, okay maybe. What they end up doing is eating up our very precious brain energy, our focus, our creativity, because they’re in the back, chewing up all kinds of good mojo that we need for other things. And I loved that the person posted this in Uplevel Cafe because it meant, A- she was doing the Sunday summit and B- She was seeing the results. And what I always tell my clients and students is that when you start doing the Sunday summit, it’s not that the first one is going to be your big, like aha awakening. And it’s not even that the second one will be a big insight bringer. Oftentimes it’s the third one. It’s the third time you do it, that you start to create a relationship with yourself and the deep place that the Sunday summit brings you to.
And so what I want to do today is harken back, and there I go, I use that word harken again. I don’t know why, it’s you turn on, turn on the microphone and I start going back to, you know, old England in some past life or something, but I’m going to go to my book and I’m going to refer to a chapter called This Is Your Brain On Decisions, and it’s chapter 21 and I’m going to read a little bit from that and make some commentary on that so that you can start to see what this person in Uplevel Cafe saw, and that is the toxicity that happens when we don’t make decisions. And what starts to occur to you as you do a practice like the Sunday summit, and it doesn’t have to be the Sunday Summit, it’s some kind of regular self coaching practice that you commit to so that you start to gauge what’s happening in this brain. How do I prioritize? How do I assess what just happened? What’s going on in myself as a business owner? And it begins to show you a lot of where your clarity is going and also the power of your clarity and what is non-negotiable for you. And what this student discovered was that unmade decisions are no longer going to be a thing. They’re not going to be something that she tolerates anymore.
So, This Is Your Brain On Decisions, and I’m going to read to you now from my book.
“Im Exhausted and everything sucks. Theresa’s greeting. As she picked up the phone for our coaching call, she was weeks away from hosting a two day event, and she and her assistant Alex were steeped in last minute details. I laughed. Sucking wasn’t Sharice’s usual stanc so I asked her to elaborate. Well, maybe this will give you an idea, she said, as I heard a rhythmic thwacking sound on the other end of the line. Hear that? It’s an empty Pringles can, empty, and not the cute little cans you get at the checkout. This was a tall one. We’re talking the jumbo family, picnic size. I ate the whole thing and you know what else? I haven’t even looked at my slides. I haven’t written emails I need to write. I tried straightening up my desk, filing papers, not going to happen. So it was hello Pringles. And I’ve been ignoring Alex and all her emails since Monday.
It hits this state, a business coach might review the list of, to do’s and help her get back on course. But this wasn’t a place I’d seen Sharice go before. So I decided to press pause and go a little deeper. How about this, Shariece? Tell me about the event plans and where things are right now and I promise not to confiscate your Pringles. Nothing left to confiscate, Sharice laughed, but okay.
She then launched into a sentence that lasted for about four minutes and had little, if any punctuation, you know how events are, right? You have like 150 people, all wanting different things and writing in with questions. And in the meantime, you’re trying to figure out stuff like name tags and coffee breaks. And Alex keeps pinging me with new questions and new decisions like lunch, lunch. They have this buffet at the hotel, and I’m supposed to decide if I’m paying for lunch on the second day, or if they buy their own lunch, own lunch. And if so, how I let them know this. And I can’t figure out how to budget, if you’ve never done an event before. And I’m at the point, I can’t even look at a number, you know?
Oh, and add to that, the small issue of the print deadline. So I told Alex, I get back to her about lunch later, and guess what? I still haven’t. And by now I wouldn’t be surprised if she quit or something. She continued her tirade, but the log jam had made itself clear and it was lunch. Lunch had stopped Shariece in her tracks. Well, not lunch exactly, but the unmade decision about the buffet buried among weeks of non-stop decisions. You and I were to geek out on brain science, here’s how we’d see this. We’d point to the area right behind our forehead. We’d say, ah, yes, the prefrontal cortex. Types will tell you that the prefrontal cortex is the center of executive functioning. On worthy lingo this just means that when presented with a decision, your prefrontal cortex goes to work rounding up relevant information, pertinent facts, related experiences, feelings you have, and even consequences. After that, it’s job is to examine the data from various points of view. It plays out different scenarios and ways options.
All of this takes energy. Lots of it. It’s why you feel physically exhausted after a morning of tackling issues at your desk, but you never once got up from your chair. It’s called decision fatigue. It also explains why when you let a decision go unmade, it’s like propping a metaphor car on cinder blocks, tossing a brick on the gas pedal and letting the engine just run and run. It leaves you feeling incapable and pooped. The prefrontal cortex just keeps spinning in the background, but no destination is reached. Worse, the prefrontal cortex doesn’t stop working until a decision is made. So when a decision’s left tooling around in your head, your brain is still motoring away demanding fuel. At Times you do need to delay a choice and let the engine idle for a bit. Sleeping on It might be worth it like when you’re dealing with deciding on changing program content or making a new hire.
But when a decision has relatively minor consequences, say comping a buffet lunch, allowing it to remain unmade comes at too high a price. Better to make it as quickly as possible. Get it out of your prefrontal cortex and save your energy for more significant tasks like building the slides for your presentation. Oh, and one more thing. The prefrontal cortex helps to regulate your behavior, which means when it’s functioning well, you naturally grab just a few chips instead of the whole family size can, which at this moment ceased its repetitive tapping in the background as Sharice concluded, “and I still don’t know what to do about the buffet”.
While I had the chance, lightning round question, Sharice, ready? I asked, if you did know, what would you choose? I just pay for it, Sharice said, then there was a pause. Oh, Hey, that was easy. Wasn’t it? Decision made open loop, closed energy now available for the next item on the agenda.”
So here’s the thing. One of the reasons I am opening up three Sundays in August, coming up, like today as this podcast airs, even you’re listening to it and we’ve already done it, the first one, is because the practice, like Sharice, where she was at, and for those of you who know the Enneagram, Sharice is a seven, very, very mental, very, very overthinking, very much brain activity happening. When you are in that mode and you’re used to that habit or that pattern, sometimes the only thing that creates a pattern interrupt for you is to have a habit or some kind of system or some kind of practice where you sit down and you think productively, not like just wheel spinning thinking, but really deep, productive take a look, take a deep breath and see what’s going on here.
And that’s why I’m opening up this all public, all Uplevel version of the Sunday Summit. We’re doing three Sundays in a row, precisely because I want the people who are really committed to all three Sundays to experience what happens when you sit down and you give yourself the space to do something like the Sunday summit, and you don’t have to end up doing the Sunday summit, but those of you who have read the book, you have the tool you’ve gone to soulsourcedbook.com, you’ve got it in front of you. Those of you who are in Uplevel Cafe, you have an online version of the tool and a vault where you can store it. And that way you have a convenient place to access it and see where you’ve come. Like really review some stuff and see the progress you’ve made.
But the thing about a practice like the Sunday summit is that it is cumulative and it brings wisdom by virtue of the fact that you do it and you do it imperfectly. It’s like the person in Uplevel Cafe wrote, suddenly after a few times doing the Sunday summit, she was able to see what impact these unmade decisions were having on her, in her business, in her daily rounds. And she turned it around and she made those decisions in the same way that Sharice was able to make that decision right on the spot when I asked her what she would do, you know, kind of like in that, if you did know, or if you had a gun to your head or any kind of like instant moment, what would you do? A lot of us spend our times, our, our time as business owners in old patterns and old loops in old habits, just wheel spinning.
And so what I’m doing with the Sunday Summit, August Sunday Summits is I’m creating a pattern interrupt and I’m letting you have the direct experience of being with yourself, being with your business, being with this tool and having me there as your coach to guide you along and then be able to, if you, if you choose to stay for it, get into breakout sessions and do what I call using your, using your vocal cords to get stuff out of your system and into the catcher’s mitt of people who are listening to you.
And that is what starts to create shift and transformation and commitment and change. And I’m seeing it now in Uplevel Cafe. So many people are saying, it’s these little things. It’s these ways that they, they’re getting this support and they’re doing this work and they’re, they’re more motivated and they’re less likely to get in their own way. And I want everyone to be able to experience that regardless of whether you are in a cafe or not, or in M club or not. But that’s what we’re doing. August has five Sundays. And the reason I chose August is actually pretty intentional.
Sep[tember is kind of when culturally, we all step back in to everything happening. And it kind of takes us off guard sometimes where all of a sudden the world is back and school is back and things are back and we all of a sudden feel completely unprepared and caught off guard. And we’re trying to get back into the swing of things. And what I want to do is let you take August and really start to create a calm, clear peaceful foundation for yourself and start a weekly practice where you begin to create momentum. And you begin to mind your own business and your own life to show you what needs to change and to teach you what needs to happen, as opposed to just staying in this place of like overwhelm and all things need to be done at once. And, oh my goodness, there’s so much out there and that’s why we’re doing this. So I wanted to give you that chance to use these first three Sundays, to build that momentum, to prepare yourself, to create that foundation for you. And that’s what we’re doing. It’s starting, you know, like I said today, so you may have missed it, but you can still sign up for the second two.
And that is you just go to SundaySummitSessions.com and you can opt in. It’s free, totally free. And we get on Zoom on Sunday, the next Sunday at 10:00 AM Eastern, and I will be there. I will walk you through the tool. You will do it. We go into breakout sessions. I’ll do a little tiny meditation at the beginning, simply because I like to set your brain up so that you’re not in panic or frantic or any other kind of mode where you’re in reaction or your in pattern, or you’re already doubting your capabilities. And so we start this off with a lot of clarity, and I walk you through it. And it’s like having a little coaching session with me.
So this is, this is a short episode today, but I wanted you to at least consider the implications and the impact of letting decisions drain you and letting them the impact of them pulling this energy away from you. And especially as an entrepreneur, as someone who is generating ideas, generating income, and really maximizing the use of your time and your creativity, this is something that can no longer just fall by the wayside. It needs to be something that you bring into your awareness. If you bring it into your awareness, you start to catch yourself in the act of not making decisions, being off decisions, and you start doing it faster and with much more clarity and with much more honor of yourself and your business and your intentions, and I will leave you with that. And hopefully I will see you on the next Sunday Summit Session.
And thanks you guys for listening and thank you for your amazing comments and thank you for your emails and for being a part of my world. It is my honor to be your coach here and your host of the Soul-Sourced™ Business Podcast. I will see you all next week.