Finding the Right Answer As An Adult (School Gave Us The Wrong One)

I always thought I had the hardest job in the school system.  I had to get 8th graders to write 5 paragraph essays that the state of Georgia decided were good enough.  

Writing – I emphatically deemed – was the hardest subject to teach.  I was getting 8th graders who really didn’t care about anything to care enough about a subject to write 5 PARAGRAPHS in a way that impressed the “old ladies”.  (I told my students it was a bunch of retired “old ladies” who scored the essays).  

This was no small feat, my friends. This was not for the faint of heart.

But that wasn’t all.  

Math, science, and history all had had study guides.  They had specific, concrete standards.  And they had RIGHT answers.  

Their whole life they had been taught that there were right and wrong answers.  If they got enough right, they were good enough.  If they got a lot right, they were the best.  And if they got too many wrong, they weren’t good enough.  

Here I was telling them there weren’t really right answers. They were supposed to write what they think. And, honestly, many of them didn’t know how to think. But to no fault of their own.

I was basically going against what their brains had been trained to believe.  They had been taught to check the boxes.  They were not taught to think about what the boxes mean or express what they thought of the boxes.  And if they did, they were probably wrong.

Later in my teaching years, I learned about the workshop model.  The workshop model is a teaching philosophy that starts teaching Kindergartners to express their thoughts via pictures.  And then through labels on pictures.  And then through misspelled words.  And then through jumbled sentences.

The emphasis is on their ability to think, to express what they think, and then to be proud of their thinking.  

The workshop model emphasizes their voice.  

That their voice matters.  

The spelling doesn’t matter.  The correctly written compound sentence doesn’t matter. And there is no right answer.  In fact, the only right answer is for them to express what they think about a subject. For them to tell a story using their voice, not to tell a story the way the teacher wants them to.  

And I thankfully spent my last few years in schools helping teachers & students learn this concept.  

That it is not what the old ladies think.  It’s not what their teachers think. It’s about what they think.  

When they tap into their voice, they have found the right answer.  

That’s what I want you to do.  

I know it’s hard.  You’ve been taught differently the same way my 8th graders were.  Your brain believes that life is full of multiple choice answers.  

It gets stuck making decisions because it thinks there is a right answer. And that there are old ladies somewhere that are going to tell you that you’re not good enough.

But life is not a multiple choice test.  It’s the workshop model.  

And your voice is the only right answer.

If you aren’t sure how to find your voice, make strong decisions, define who you are or are stuck in life, you will want to work with me to learn how. Learn how here.

Three Things Powerful Decision-Makers Do

What was the worst decision you ever made?  I know what mine is.

It was not moving to Mexico after my first year of teaching.  I thought I’d never find love there.  I was “getting older” (27) and didn’t want to miss out.  And of course, I missed out on living overseas, becoming fluent in Spanish, and ended up marrying at 37.  

It might have cost me thousands of dollars lost in jobs I could have had returning fluent in both languages.  It probably cost me lots of other things.  

I could tell you I said no because I had a roommate.  Or because I had a job opportunity paying a lot more money in another school system.  Or because I was single.  

All of these things are “true”.  But I’m leaving out this part: I made the decision.  It was my responsibility.  I own that decision.  It was not my roommate or the job or me being single that decided.  It was me.  

Most ppl think bad decisions were bad because of something or someone else.  They’re never bad because fo something or someone else.  They’re bad because we decide they are.  

Not moving could equally have been a great decision.  Where I was moving was a dangerous part of Mexico.  I made more money, at least that year, at the school in the states.  I ended up working for that system for 10 years. 

These two things are true no matter what decision you make.  –  we both make the decision and then we decide what we want to think about it.  If I want to see it as a regret, I can.  But I advise my clients to minimize those.  Think of decisions as either ones you win from or ones you learn from.  Because spending a lot of time believing it was the worst decision for me doesn’t do me any good.  Except to tell this story. 

What does do me good is learning from it.  I learned to own my decisions.  I learned not to put my life on hold for something I think “might” happen.  I learned that being fluent is worth more than just money.  

So as you start becoming a more powerful decision maker, consider the story you want to tellTake ownership for the decisions you make in the story.  And then decide if you don’t win from the decision, you can learn from it.  


The Three Things Powerful Decision Makers Do

  1. Take ownership for their decision
  2. Decide what they want to think about the decision
  3. Learn from the decision

If you want to learn to become more powerful decision maker and live the story you believe you were created for, let’s talk about how I can help you do both.  Email me at Natalie@nataliewilsoncoaching.com.

If You Think Your Decisions Aren’t Impacting Others, Think Again

Do you know HOW many people are impacted by your choices?  Like really.  

Think About It.  

I just got off the phone with a client who was making a job decision and she brought up how thankful she was that I had the courage to pursue being a life coach.  

She said from that I am now helping her see her brain and live courageously and make hard job decisions confidently.  

So from my one decision, I am helping her and her decision which will then impact the lives of almost 100 children this year.  100 children who desperately need her to love them, encourage them, teach them how to do hard things, and achieve what is possible in their lives. 

They need her to show them what is impossible for their life.  And then make it possible.

What is the residual impact of your decisions? Whose lives are your ripples touching?

Who is impacted by your decisions?  Not just your family and friends.  Who could be impacted that you don’t even know?  

If you decide to get control of your finances and turn down all the cute clothes you want and drinks to drink and food to eat, it doesn’t just impact your wallet.  

It impacts the wallet of your parents, spouse, and friends because you wouldn’t have to take from theirs.  Now all of you have more money.  

They might see that you’re an example of what is possible and decide to do the same thing; now they are impacting all of their circle.  

I’m not saying buying clothes, drinks, or food is bad.  But I don’t think we realize the impact of those small choices and WHO they impact.  

Sometimes it takes courage to turn down the Target run of a shirt, a lamp, and new office supplies.  And that’s okay.  Not all hard decisions are taking career leaps.

For me, I will never know the 100 children, but my life is touching theirs.  My one decision to pursue the uncomfortable and unknown career of being a life coach is impacting hundreds.  

What could your decisions be doing?  

Best Case Scenario – A Decision Making Tool

Here’s one tool I teach my clients.  Best Case Scenario.  

You have a decision to make. Let’s say there are two options. Decide now that both options will turn out to be perfect – exactly how you’d want them to go. If that were the case, which one would you choose?  

That’s it. That’s the tool. Seems so simple and not effective, right?  I know. But try it. 

Here’s an example.

Recently, my husband and I found a house that just had framing up and we loved the floor plan.  It was perfect for our small family. And, if we bought now, we could finish building it.  We’d get to pick all the things.  So fun!

However, it was located much farther from my 2nd job and it was outside of our big city.  Away from all the restaurants and shops and activities we like to do.

We had to decide and we had to decide fast if we wanted to pick all the things.

Do we sell our home in Atlanta which is smaller and farther away from Darin’s work, and buy the bigger, newer home outside of Atlanta, or do we stay?

If we stay, we have to save more money to buy the type of house we want in the area we want.  And we’re not completely sure we’d find a house with this great of a floor plan.  

So how did I finally decide? Best Case Scenario. If all things worked out, and we moved out to the suburbs and loved our house and neighbors and restaurants and shopping or if we stayed and we saved up money in the next year and a half and found an amazing house in this location, which one did I really want?  

We stayed.  

Using The Best Case Scenario takes off the need to analyze all of the what-ifs, the cons, and constantly think about what could go wrong.  It makes a decision out of strength and abundance, not fear and scarcity.  

It’s so simple, and so effective.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you. Then try to share it with your teen!