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How to Make Decisions

I, for one, have obsessed over making the 'right' decision in the past. When I knew that I didn't want to stay in teaching and started making decisions about what I did want to do, I put so much pressure on myself.


I recently coached a client who ended up leaving her current job to create more space for the wellness she craved in her life. The decision-making process is HARD and feels like a burden or responsibility, weighted with things we do and do not know. One thing that has really helped me in the past, and that I passed onto my client, is this:


No decision is good, and no decision is bad.


There is only a decision.


All that my client, and I, really needed to do was just take the pressure off and just take the first tiny step forwards. Sometimes the rest of the path will reveal itself once we have done that. Having it all figured out places a huge, unnecessary weight upon your shoulders.


So whether you're thinking about switching careers, or finding a coach, deciding on a workout or nutrition programme, or which car to buy next, I think these two big components need to feature in your process:


Data

Yep, get that pros and cons list on the go. What information can you gather to help you? In a world of uncertainty, you're unlikely to be able to access all the information you need. Maybe some things haven't happened yet. But what do you actually know about the situation? What are the risks, and the benefits?


Some decisions led themselves to being data-led, but I think there is often a strong emotional component that we underestimate. We are emotional beings who think we are logical.


Intuition

In the past, I'd have sneered at the idea of intuition. I put weight on logic, but that can be an unhelpful thing to rest upon when if it cannot answer all of our questions. Our culture promotes a dissociation from our bodies, and often I think the answers already lie inside; even if we are unpracticed as listening to them.


When attempting to make a decision ask yourself 'is it a HELL YES?'. Does it feel exciting, uplifting and expansive in your body? Does it feel light or heavy in your belly, chest and shoulders?


We don't always have to be strictly one of the other. Our impulsive, emotional decisions can be tempered with some data and logic. Our rational decisions can be validly influenced by our emotions, likes and dislikes and preferences.


Some of my best top tips for decision making:


  1. Don't bow to a false need to rush it. Be aware of the story you're telling yourself. Are you looking to minimise the discomfort of uncertainty by making a hasty decision? Give yourself some time if possible

  2. Don't let stress get the better of you. Take time away to deal with the stress in your body (see the article I wrote on completing stress cycles here). A stressed decision is often not a good decision.

  3. What's your ego saying? Are your motivators power, prestige or wealth? Possibly not the most fulfilling decision long-term if so.

  4. Get quiet. Others input can be really helpful, but only in finding some stillness will you be able to listen to what your body might be saying about the matter.

  5. Will this matter in 5 minutes, 5 weeks, 5 months and 5 years time? If not, remove some of the pressure from yourself.

  6. Which outcome is best aligned with your vision for yourself, and who you want to be in the future? Does the decision match your core beliefs, dreams and values?

And if you're looking for more help, then check out my coaching options here or drop me an email caroline@theplanharrogate.com.


Are there any decision you're struggling with at the moment? What above helped you the most? Let me know below!


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