Decision-making can be tough especially when the best choice isn’t glaringly obvious. We’re faced with this process every minute of the day.
When do I wake up? What’s for lunch? Do I want to go out on a date with this person? What do I want to do with my life? Can I stay in this marriage?
Life itself is a series of decisions.
If you’re stressed about a pressing decision, follow these steps to help you find clarity and peace. Do the work and exhaust all options. This way, at the end of the day, you will know you did the right thing for you.
The process is fluid. Know that you might feel compelled to go back and forth between steps.
Give yourself permission to go at your own pace. If you’re putting your brain to work and factoring in your heart and soul, the decision-making process doesn’t have to be agonizing.
Take the time to think things through. Explore each step.
Step #1 Take a deep breath
When we’re stressed, we often miss details. Begin to think of absolutely every option you have. Don’t censor yourself. Get all the thoughts outside of you and onto paper. No typing. The act of writing connects with your brain on a deeper level.
Write all of them down, even the ones that seem really outrageous and far-fetched. What do you need? What do you desire?
Be open minded here and encourage yourself to think outside of the box. You may be writing furiously. Consider rewriting your list so you can see every word and understand each option clearly.
If you’re stumped, start writing anything and everything that comes to mind. Even if that means writing “I don’t know” over and over until new thoughts come forward.
Ask an even keeled, rational friend you can trust for their perspective. State your boundaries from the get-go and be clear that you’re simply asking for help formulating your options.
When we’re so close to something, it can be easy to fall into the trap of viewing things with bias or narrow thinking. Self-limiting beliefs can get in the way.
You might even benefit from seeking out that very honest and blunt friend who tells it like it is. Be prepared to face some hard truths.
Step #2 What is your gut telling you
When intuition kicks in, a choice jumps out at you. If that’s not the case, pay attention to the whispers of uncertainty. Bringing those questions out in the open shines a spotlight on factors we might overlook.
What are you afraid of? Fear can feel like intuition because both are designed to protect us. Fears block you from being the best version of yourself. Intuition prioritizes your highest self.
Say a choice slaps you in the face, shouting “WAKE UP! This is what you have to do!” Pause and recognize the urgency of this message, then put it off to the side. Continue with the rest of these steps. If that is the choice, everything following will confirm it 100%.
Step #3 How do you feel when you think of your choices
Slowly go down your list and check in with your whole body as you weigh each option in your hand. Some choices will elicit very distinct and obvious emotions.
Think with your whole body, not just with your head.
What does your heart say? How does your sense of safety and security feel about this?
Take note of which options feel “good” to you. Mark the ones that make your skin crawl. This information is gold. We’re humans, not robots. Factor in your feelings even if you’re not used to it.
Step #4 Visualize yourself in all possible worst case scenarios
Be so intensely truthful with yourself. Face your fears. What is the worst thing that could happen with each of these choices? What could the aftermath look like?
Step #5 Consider the flip side of this
Dream big and imagine the most optimal outcomes. Allow yourself to think grand and lofty. You are deserving of an amazing life. You can have one if you believe that you are worthy of it. Now is not the time to hold back or self-sabotage.
This could be a chance to open up yourself to a whole new world of possibilities.
Step #6 Use all of your writing to make the ultimate pros & cons list
Do not filter yourself. This is where you go all out. If something feels like it’s a “maybe,” it’s a NO.
What options align with your values? What choices are in agreement with who you are at your core? Where do you feel like you’re being a martyr, instead of advocating for yourself?
Are you hyper focused on what others will think of you? Remember that you’re choosing what’s best for you and your life.
You’re on the look out for HECK YES vibes.
Revisit the choice picked by your intuition. Are you finding a balance between your analytical mind and your emotions? This is where your best options become obvious.
Step #7 You’ve done the work
Congratulations! It’s time to decide with confidence. Clarity has shown up big time and peace of mind is yours if you are open to it.
Remember that there are no wrong choices. Making a decision is simply choosing a direction in life.
Was that a big sigh of relief? You’re now one decision closer to living the life you’ve always wanted.
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Author: Jenny Dipasupil
Jenny Dipasupil is a writer and former licensed massage therapist. For 13 years, she was a catalyst for change, helping clients manage their pain and stress with advanced massage therapy and self-care coaching. She writes about wellness and personal development to inspire readers to take action. Her daughter, Sydney, is her main muse in life. Together they bake, paint with acrylics, and co-parent their shy rescue pup, Luna.