The 10 Words to Say to Yourself When You Have to Make a Big Decision to Make (and you’re not sure what to do)

I’m a business mindset coach, podcast host, and industry speaker. In 2015, I retired as a school psychologist to focus full time on my multiple 6-figure online businesses. Since then, I’ve worked with hundreds of online entrepreneurs in growing their business vision and game plan.   


Hi, I'm Marion

Today I want to share 10 words to say to yourself whenever you have a big decision to make and you’re not sure which direction you should go. 

This is something my business partner and I bring up constantly with one another.  And I believe we got it from Rob Dial…but here it is:

If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a heck no.   

You can use these words for any type of decision…financial, relationships, friendships, 

And you can use it for really big decisions and small decisions.

So for small decisions maybe you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving at your friend’s house and you’re not sure if you want to go.  

Or friends want you to meet them for brunch on Saturday.  

So often we say yes to things like that out of obligation.  Or to volunteer to be a chaperone for your child’s class field trip.  Or to answer the phone when it’s ringing and it’s someone that talks for over an hour every single time…

And what we’re really talking about here are boundaries.  

You can make decisions in your life that are in line with what it is YOU want your life to look like.  

And for some people, a boozy brunch on Monday is a heck yes.

But for others, it’s a “you know…I think I’d actually prefer to go to a spin class or go on a hike Saturday morning.”  

So by reminding yourself, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a heck no” will really help you read your own intuition and make healthy boundaries.

I’ve talked about intuition on this podcast before and how incredibly valuable it is…  but how most people, myself included for the vast majority of my life, don’t know how to read it.

We talk about having a gut feeling with certain situations or decisions…but sometimes gut feelings are difficult to pull to the surface.  So telling yourself “Okay, if it’s not hell yes, it’s a heck no” immediately makes it really clear what your answer is.

So this works beautifully for very large + very big decisions.

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where meh, the person you were with checked quite a few boxes…but there was always just something that wasn’t clicking for you.  Like you just weren’t very stoked to spend every waking minute with them.

Now have you ever had a relationship where you just absolutely wanted to be around that person alllll the time?  If they texted you to see if you wanted to meet up for happy hour, it was a hell yes answer.  You usually don’t even have to ask yourself “Is this a hell yes or a heck no ” type of decision because when it’s truly a hell yes…you just know.  

Another way of reminding yourself “If it’s not a hell yes it’s a heck no” would be when you’re buying something really important…like a house.  In most cases, a house is the most expensive thing you’ll purchase in your life.  So it’s a big decision.

Troy and I probably spent…I don’t know…3 years looking at houses all over Denver.  We thought we wanted to stay in the downtown Denver area.

And when you’re looking at buying a new house…you’re looking at not just the price, but the amount of street traffic, the layout of the house, do your neighbors look like serial killers…these are important things.

We had a few times where we liked a house enough to think “ok is this the one?  Like, the market is crazy right now so we need to make an offer asap…should we do it?” 

And everytime, we had to stop and say “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a heck no.”  And in every case, it was clear that it wasn’t a hell yes.  

It wasn’t until last summer when we stumbled onto the neighborhood we now live in and I remember driving around and there was a ton of hell yes everywhere I looked.  We bought our lot and signed the contract to build our new home within 24 hours of seeing the neighborhood.  (And it would have been that same day but Troy made me wait overnight to make sure this was the right decision.  I can be somewhat impulsive and he’s an engineer so he prefers more of a process of analysis approach).

But if you’ve ever bought a house that you just love, then you know exactly what I’m saying right?  A hell yes house feels very different from a heck no house.

So you can use these 10 words also for decisions that maybe are somewhat emotional.  

So here’s another example…we used the If it’s not a hell yes it’s a heck no to help us navigate our infertility decisions.  So for those who maybe follow me on Instagram, you may or may not know that over the past 3 years, gosh, Troy and I went through 6 rounds of IUIs and 2 rounds of IVF.  

If you can unfortunately relate to infertility treatments, you know that there’s a crap ton of decisions that you need to make.  And it’s not just things like “do we do this or not” it’s also deciding on a doctor + deciding how aggressive you want to be + and honestly it’s deciding if financially you want to spend the money.   I know it varies depending on where people live, but here in Denver it was close to $40,000 for 1 round of IVF.  

And it feels a little like you’re in Las Vegas putting 40 grand on Black and then just standing there like “I sure hope this goes my way.”

So going back to my point, after we had 6 failed IUIs our doctor basically told us we needed to do IVF.  So we did a gut check and thought “Alright…it’s a hell yes.  Let’s do this thing!”  And we did actually get pregnant that first round which was incredibly exciting.  

But we ended up miscarrying around the 10th week.   

And our doctor wanted us to make a decision right away…I mean, I felt like we had just left the ultrasound room and she was calling us to ask “are we moving forward on a 2nd round?”

And I get it…I’m very very old ;).  Well, my eggs aren’t getting younger I guess.  Also we had this diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” which means exactly what it sounds like which is “uh, we don’t know why your equipment isn’t working.” 

So we had to take the weekend and Troy and I decided it’s going to be a hell yes.  

Unfortunately that round was unsuccessful.  

And I remember sitting on the couch with Troy afterwards after talking with our doctor who again, wanted to know if we were going to do another round.

And at that point, I couldn’t say it was going to be a hell yes for me.  And ultimately Troy felt the same way.  And if we couldn’t go into it with that hell yes type of energy…i just wouldn’t feel right about it all.

So these 10 words can maybe help you next time you have a decision to make that has multiple layers or some emotion attached to it.  Changing careers + choosing a college + deciding if you should marry someone.  

But again, it also helps with the smaller day to day decisions like do you want to go to lunch with this person?  Do you want to buy that piece of artwork?  Do you want to go workout?

Just kidding on that last one…sometimes we gotta make the decision that we know is right even if we can’t say it’s a hell yes.

Alright so I hope these 10 words help you in making the right decisions that are inline with your intuition.

Thanks so much for being here and I’ll see you next time.

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