How do you make decisions?
If it’s related to a product or service, these days we typically check online for reviews before we make a buying decision. We do that because we want to feel good about our decision and not make any wrong decisions,
But you know that these reviews and feedback can be manipulated right?
There are enough articles and experiments conducted on how businesses are manipulating the end user. My favourite is by Oobah Butler who used an assault of fake reviews to get his fake restaurant become London's No. 1 restaurant. Access that story here
That story and several others made me vary on trusting anything online. It made me realise that if I am dependent on outside influence to make decisions then that could be disempowering. And perhaps also monetarily damaging.
But this is just about our behaviour as a consumer.
What about how we live our life?
Are you dependent on external influence to make decisions that impact your life? Decisions such as what subject to study, what career to choose, what is the right time to marry etc etc.
If you’re dependent largely on external influences then you’re living life outside-in.
This means people around you are telling you what to do. Directly or maybe indirectly they are deciding how you should lead your life.
This can come as surprising but a lot of us are living our lives this way.
At least it holds true in my life. I graduated in a subject that my friends were taking. I took the job that came my way and grew in it comparing to my peers and their career path. But I am proud of my decision to not let my mom decide when I should marry. Although she had made it her life's mission. :)
I believe I lived a large part of my life outside-in .. until one day I decided to flip that decision. It was not consciously though.. I just wanted to follow my heart.
So when I quit my cushy corporate life, I was doing exactly that. After more than two decades I followed my heart to become a coach to make a difference in people’s lives, and to make a difference in the world.
And for the past 5 years I have been working on myself, mind - body and soul. I'm grateful that today I am living my life inside-out.
Of course there are certain decisions that I depend on my family and friends; we are dependent on the outside world for many things. And that’s okay because we are social beings after all.
But when it comes to happiness, peace and fulfilment from life then the decisions must come from within.
So here's a question for you - are you living your life from outside-in or inside-out?
If you don’t know you can ask yourself these questions -
Do other’s thoughts and actions impact my day?
Do I allow others’ opinion of me to affect how I feel about myself?
Do I take time to recover from criticisms and negative feedback?
IF you answered yes to even one of the questions, then you could be living outside-in.
That’s okay if you’re at a happy place. But if you’re not you can consciously learn how to change this approach.
Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least. ~ Goethe
True empowerment is having the courage to follow your heart and be confident in your decisions. I hope and wish you a life of living inside-out.
Good luck! :)
Aparna is a behavioural coach with a passion to support people who want to help themselves. She is an avid YouTube and publishes weekly videos. For more information and to reach out to her click here