I consider myself both an optimist and a realist, which can be a challenge because they compete with one another when I’m making decisions, thinking about new ideas, evaluating and solving problems, and everything else that comes my way in life. Another perspective is that the competing forces between optimism and realism is what balances me. Whatever the situation, for me any final decision is a grounded one between my optimistic and realist tendencies. But I know it’s not as black and white as this because frankly, nothing is black and white in life.
Whether it be my personal or professional life I have made some awesome decisions and some not-so-awesome. It’s a fact of life and all I can do is do more of what was awesome and learn from the not-so-awesome so I don’t repeat these mistakes. In looking back on 2016 I realized that I listened to my gut more than ever before, and this is a good thing. Gut feel is the “thing” that helps me make better decisions when my optimism and realism are duking it out in my brain to influence my decision-making. In the past I let my optimism reign supreme, and while it really did help me make strides in whatever I was set out to achieve, I was also burned several times. I would say to myself, “it will get better” or “this is a phase that will pass”. But my gut was literally on fire giving me all the signs that what I was involved in was not good and I should get out. Whether it be staying in jobs or relationships too long or committing myself to a project that I shouldn’t have, my gut was always right…. ALWAYS.
So as I venture into 2017 feeling really good about myself, both professionally and personally, I will continue to listen to what my gut is telling me. I’m not really a fan of “New Years Resolutions” but I do like to focus on one thing that I want to do better in the coming year. For me it’s to continue listening to my gut.