Have you ever struggled with a decision?
Of course you have! We all have. Especially in today’s world, because we are all confronted with way too many options!
I recently struggled with a decision. I was about to take action on something, but paused just long enough to realize it just might be motivated by my Aries impulsiveness. It’s gotten me in trouble before, big time! I didn’t want to make another decision that was going to end up in a lot of emotional pain… again! So, I called a friend. Sure enough, she told me it was a stupid idea. She saved me from making a costly mistake. (This is why we need our girlfriends – especially the ones who’ll “tell it like it is,” and won’t pussy-foot around being nice!)
In reality, I already knew it was a bad idea. That’s why I hesitated. If it had been a good idea, I would have felt a sense of certainty. I would have felt pleased and maybe even felt a sense of peace about the decision. Instead I felt enough caution to call a friend. I could have saved myself the phone call if I had paid attention to what I was feeling.
Our emotions are our friends. They are our internal alert system that lets us know what is good, or bad, for us. They are the barometer of what is going on inside. The challenge we all face, however, is that we are taught in our society that emotions are to be suspect. They can’t be trusted. They pull you off kilter. It’s better to keep you emotions in check and be ruled by your ‘mind.’
This is partially true. Our ‘mind’ is a great tool for analysis – for evaluating both sides of an argument. It helps us weigh facts and make practical decisions. However practical decisions are not always the best decisions. I once made a career decision based on what I thought would provide the best financial security for our household. What I really wanted to do, however, was to take a more interesting, but lower paying, position. I have never been unhappier in any job in my life! My decision was practical and logical, but I was miserable. I quit 6 months later! I had made the mistake of not taking my emotions into consideration.
Our emotions are our internal alert system. When we are angry, we’re being alerted that someone might be taking advantage of us, or treating us poorly. When we are fearful, we’re being warned to pay attention; danger may lie ahead. If we are edgy, nervous, or secretive about our actions, then we’re about to do something that isn’t in our best interest. When we feel pleasure, joy, or a sense of peace, our emotions are letting us know that whatever we are doing is a positive thing. Embrace it!
When we are busy thinking or worrying our way through a decision, we drown out our inner wisdom, which is linked to our emotional alert system. Worrying is a waste of time and confuses the matter. Instead, just grow calm and let your mind quiet down.
Once you are more relaxed, think about one choice you are facing. Listen – not to your mind running analysis – but instead, pay attention to what you are feeling in your body. Just notice your feelings. Then, one by one, weigh the other options. Take notes if you must, but just pay attention to your feelings.
If you feel anxious, nervous, pressured, burdened, fearful, distressed, cautious, or unease of any kind, then that choice may not be the best decision. If you feel calm, relaxed, a sense of ease or contentment, or even relief and/or happiness, then most likely this is the better course of action. Sometimes your choice will be the one that makes you feel less distress… or more joy.
I’m not advising that you ignore the practical elements needed to make a good decision. I am suggesting, however, that by accessing your inner wisdom and paying attention to your emotional reactions, you will be able to make better decisions that will end up being for your highest good and greatest joy.
If you are confused or feel uneasy about the decisions and choices you have made, or are about to make, please give me a call today and requests a 30-minute complimentary consultation. Call Joy 415-819-8769 or email me.