Life is a constant, moving reflection of the choices we make. From choosing what you eat, to choosing your career, or figuring out the city you want to live in. Some of these decisions are less impactful, while some are more meaningful and wide-reaching.
Ideally, the choices that you make are ones that feel most aligned with your future vision, your intentions and your wants and desires. And as long as you consider what is truly important to you, you would think making a choice should be simple, you know what you want, and you go for it… right?
But then the thoughts start spinning. Questions start to roll repeatedly in the mind like waves. Can it really be that straightforward? Uncertainty and doubt move in.
Doubt can sound like:
Is this the right choice for me?
What if I am not good/smart/old/young/funny/pretty enough?
Who do I think I am?
What if I fail or it doesn’t work out, because of x-y-z?
What will other people think?
It can happen quickly. You’ve gone from thinking you know what you want, to now feeling confused and overwhelmed. Your overthinking mind is going round and round and it feels almost impossible to decide.
To make matters worse there is also added the pressure of making a right or “wrong decision as if there is only one way to move through life, and that this is the last decision you will ever make.
When you carefully weigh all the options and try to eliminate all possibilities of failure, this causes decision making paralysis. Striving for perfection doesn't leave any room for error and halts the flow of life.
In the quest for perfection, can you stop and ask who is deciding what is right or wrong? Who is setting those expectations? Does this doubtful, fearful voice belong to you?
Throughout my life, I thought that everyone else knew better than me when it came to decision making. I disregarded my instincts and feelings and instead listened to lots of outside information in the hope to stay safe and to protect myself from pain.
Instead of embracing the non-linear, unpredictability of life, my logical mind attempted to sanitize and control outcomes. It is the very way of human nature to attach to the old and the familiar. Fear of the unknown leads to attempts to control everything. Then I found that my life was being blocked from unfolding in the most beautiful, unimaginable ways.
In the past, I have known what I wanted, but I haven’t acted on it unless a rigid set of conditions were met. I wanted guarantees when there weren’t any and waited for those guarantees before making my choices. After much anguish, I then had to release the idea of having a guarantee and ended up pursuing what I wanted regardless. What a merry go round!
Tapping into your own sense of power
Human beings are born intuitive - sensing, feeling, perceiving. You know that gut feeling or subtle knowing without knowing why or how? It goes beyond thinking, analyzing or logical reasoning.
You might be wondering how you can shift from a place of confusion and overwhelm into more clarity. When making a decision, we have to tune in, be willing to listen and be really honest with ourselves. We have to become still, unplug from the noise and create space for our intuition to come through.
Here is a 10-step guide to support you through intuitive decision making
1. When faced with a decision, it helps to get quiet, and then tune into yourself, being willing to listen to what comes up or is shown.
2. Ask yourself, is this decision-making stemming from a place of fear or is my intuition guiding me to a choice that feels most right for me?
3. Take some time out, choose a quiet spot free of distractions where you can relax and write down the decision you are facing.
4. Set the intention to be true to your desires and what you really want. Lean into this place, and what that looks like.
5. Write down the decision that first arrives.
6. Pay attention to how your body feels.
7. Take some notes of the feelings arising. What thoughts are you noticing and what is the energy behind those thoughts?
We can differentiate between two types of body responses. One response will be fear that feels more like pushing and unsettling energy. The other type of response is your intuition, which feels like a pulling towards energy, it can come through as clear and calm or full of opportunity and good sensations in the body, such as butterflies or tingling.
Intuition is an encouraging voice, led by trust. It knows that if something doesn't work out, you can navigate any challenges. It urges you to shine and to walk your own path even if that is different from what others might choose.
8. Once you understand the energy behind your decision, you can choose to step out of the place of “what if all goes wrong” and flip towards more expansive thinking such as, “what would it look like if everything went better than I expect?”
9. Acknowledge that you know what is right for you and trust the little nudges and messages your intuition is sending you. Even if it doesn’t make sense at first and you can’t see the full picture, trust that this is all you need to know and that everything will unfold one step at a time. Know that you can always amend or change your plans and that nothing is ever set in stone.
10. Trust that if you are deeply being drawn to do something then it’s likely the right thing for you and your life path. Breathe deeply and take your first step.
Katharina is a certified Life Coach in the Being Way Method, supporting clients 1:1 through big transitions in their life. In her previous role as an HR consultant, she has worked with some of New Zealand’s biggest brands. Katharina’s curious and compassionate approach helps her to gently guide clients to a greater understanding of themselves, breaking through the surface to renewed, clear perspectives.