On the fence? It's time to leap

Sitting on the fence about a big decision? So was I.

I'm writing from my new space in Bethesda, MD. I just relocated my PR consulting and life coaching businesses from Manhattan, NY after a long journey this year of sitting on the fence.

What helped me to focus and decide unequivocally that this was the time and place to move, were two things.

First, I looked to the past for guidance. My own past.

Think back to successful decisions you've made before. How did you make them?

I remember when I took a six week sabbatical from my public relations job in 2003. There's also when I decided to train to become a life coach, thus launching myself into the world of entrepreneurs.

Both of these decisions were important moments in my life—though I figured that out later. At the time I knew only that they were right, that the wondering and worry leading up to them melted away as soon as I said yes.

How I made these major decisions entailed gathering enough information to make me feel comfortable and confident, but not so much that I was bogged down by detail. Thus the right amount for me.

Ask yourself: What did I need to do or learn or feel in order to make those previous decisions confidently?

Was it gathering opinions from respected colleagues? Plotting out possible outcomes? Getting buy-in from the other parties involved in the decision?

If it worked before, it will now. Get or do whatever is necessary in order to create the right environment for you to make the best decision for yourself.

Second, what helped me to focus was trusting my instincts.

This is where the leap comes in. Step one is about gathering whatever you need externally in order to make the decision. Step two is about looking inside.

Chances are that when you thought back to those successful decisions from the past, one of the constants was knowing it was right.

Only you know what that means to you. It's your gut instinct, that voice inside you that says go for it, even if you don't know all of the answers.

There is a reason you smile broadly, or get the ick feeling, every time you think about one of the options. Your instinct is just as instructive, and thus as valuable, as the facts you gather. Trust it.

Part of what made my big decisions so successful, including this recent one, is in knowing that I stayed true to myself throughout. I waited for the right opportunity, not just the first one, and then I jumped at it without hesitation.

Or rather, not enough hesitation to keep me from going for it!

Need moral support or to brainstorm about your decision? What else works for you?