Decision Making is not a skill that I was ever taught in school. Not even when I directly asked my teachers or guidance counsellors questions like, “How do I decide what to do with my life?” (BTW I have a great book that answers that very specific question.)
I have a course that maps out how to follow a process to reach a decision and commit to it – just visit my courses page. Sometimes however, we need to step back farther when we are struggling with a decision. When we vacillate between – is it really the smart move? It feels right but is it wise? Or, it feels wrong but it makes sense. Ever been there? Me too!
When we struggle with, or put off, making bigger decisions we are often slowing down our own personal development, hesitating at the edge of our authenticity.
Denying our truth.
Working with personality type, I see a number of clients who are externally driven. They need to not just discuss their ideas with someone else to fully formulate them, they need to see that other person approve before they will move forward. This person is too far on the external side of the continuum to move forward without approval or permission.
Social proof is not a new thing. If someone else eats the berries and does not die or get ill, we can eat the berries.
If someone else buys the course, the car, the idea, we can buy it too.
Surely if so many people love McDonalds it must be the best restaurant in town. Screech. Notice how that one took you across the continuum of where you look outside of yourself for proof??
An external check is fine, and pro-social and usually appropriate! It shows a level of maturity and interdependence. Yet many people get stalled on decision making at this step. They cannot give themselves the approval or take permission. We can do some great work on this! Strengthening that internal leads to a stronger sense of self, poise and confidence.
When creating you life mission and your personal vision, setting big audacious goals, you need to be able to go inside for confirmation. You can have others reflect back to you who they see you are, what they appreciate about you, what they think your strengths are – and when you sit down to create… go inside. (Awareness can be the only thing you need at this point, for those stuck on that external check requirement, I have a great hypnosis to make this so easy.)
You are unlike anyone else in the world.
You were put here (or chose this life) for a reason.
Nobody else will resonate with your vision the way you will.
The wise mind is that part of our mind that represents SELF. It is the part separate from logical and emotion that balances and evaluates both. That part that makes decisions on all of the information: emotional, your gut-feelings, and your logical data.
It will not make a decision – and feel good about it – until it has all of the data it wants.
Knowing how to collect all of that data is the real key. Otherwise you can find yourself spinning in circles asking questions of yourself that don’t get any real answers, don’t feel right or feel forced.
Opening out that stuck place leads to better questions.
What tools, exercises and activities let me discover the patterns of my life?
What has help my passion time after time since I was three years old? What did each of those things have in common?
Where did I lose myself (my self-consciousness) in activity, fully immersed, challenged and deeply enjoying the activity? (Flow State). What pattern do I see here? What theme is always present?
What are those skills that I take for granted because I do them so well. You know, those things you sometimes refer to as “common sense” but they aren’t, or “anyone can do this” but they cannot?
Better questions lead to better and fuller data. This is where authentic answers and decisions to which you can commit come from. Try this with your bigger decisions and notice – how is that different?