How to Make Decisions With Confidence
Some of my biggest decisions have been surprisingly easy to make.
When I bought a one-way ticket and moved to Tokyo by myself. When I left secure jobs in pursuit of a passion or hunch. When I decided on a home-birth. These were all life-defining moments for me. The people in my life didn’t necessarily understand or get behind these choices. But, I didn’t lie in bed second-guessing myself. I didn’t wait for anyone to reaffirm me. I didn’t announce anything on social media.
I was at peace. I just knew. Because, sometimes, we just know.
And, other times…not so much.
We can wrestle with the same question for years, or even decades! Should I quit my job? Leave this relationship? Move overseas? Submit my finished manuscript shoved in the bedside table?
Nah. I’ll wait for the perfect opportunity.
Fast forward 10 years. Nothing has changed.
Why are some choices so hard to make?
While we may fantasize about changing our lives, actually doing the changing is tough. Even seemingly small changes - taking a new route to work; eliminating something from our diet; starting a hobby - means stepping into the unknown. Moving outside our comfort zone. And unknown places are scary!
We are also bombarded by advice and stories from mainstream media, social media and our own personal networks. This noise overwhelms and distracts us from our innate ability to suss out a situation and make wise decisions. It can literally stop us in our tracks.
If this sounds familiar you are not alone! I, too, can feel confused by situations and unsure of how best to move forward.
When I feel this way, I have a set of tools that I return to . They help me access my creativity and resourcefulness, tap back into my personal strength, clear the chatter and find my own best answers.
Here are my top 3:
1. Don’t ask for advice
Strengthen your ability to make decisions for yourself. Other people do not know what’s best for you. You are a grown-up. You know what’s best for you.
Don’t ask for advice from people you look up to. They may have stuff figured out – for themselves.
Don’t ask for advice from friends or relatives. They often give biased advice because they hold firm ideas of who you are – and they want you to stay that way. They typically encourage the ‘safe’ route, which is not always what you need or long for.
Learning how to make your own decisions with confidence is a skill that can be developed. It is empowering and will dramatically improve your life.
" I realize I actually have the answer within myself and that's enough. I know what to do! Until now, I've been wanting to talk to other people about this and get their opinions on what I should do." ISABELLE P.
2. Listen to Your Body
Instead of looking to the outside world for guidance, look inward. YOU are your own trusted source of wisdom. Yep, all the answers lie within -- they are not buried someplace on the internet.
Check in with your body. Avoid your brain. The mind tends to over-complicate matters. To the body, there is a definitive YES and NO. Get still and connect with yourself, and ask: “What is in my highest good right now?” Your body will answer you.
If you’re feeling out of touch with your body, here are some simple ways to reconnect:
Log off - take a break from all devices for a minimum of 3 hours
Get into nature - walk through a park, forest or do some gardening
Get creative - colour, paint, knit, write, create something
Get still - listen to a guided meditation or even do a series of 10 deep breaths
The more you practice, the better access you’ll have to yourself and your intuition. Your best answers.
In the words of writer, Penney Peirce: “Do not let the shallowness and speed of daily life cheapen your inner vision.”
3. Care for Yourself
Self care. Always.
You must fill up your own cup so that you are well and strong enough to see and feel clearly.
Prioritize your own wellness, love and joy. Show yourself the same level of respect and integrity you bestow on others in your life.
Treat yourself as the wise soul you are.
I challenge you to look at one choice you’ve been grappling with.
Forget everything that anyone else has told you about it and what they think you should do.
Forget the list of pros and cons you’ve drafted.
Gift yourself some time alone, outside. Leave your phone at home and walk through a park. Find a park bench and sit on it. Breathe in and ask yourself: “If my body did hold the answer, what is it?”
Wait for your YES or NO.
Now, go forth and honour what you alone know to be true.
Want to become a decision-making ninja? I help people learn how to take better care of themselves, develop their intuition and show up more powerfully in their lives and careers. Learn more here.