How To Feel Confident You Are Making The Best Decision
How can you feel confident that you are making the best choice for yourself in any given moment?
My friend Sienna recently shared a decision with me that she has been struggling with.
She had been offered a new career opportunity by one of her oldest and dearest friends. It is an opportunity in which she will be able to work closely with her friend towards potentially great personal and financial growth.
The rub is that she currently has a life and career that she adores.
But what if this new opportunity is just the thing she never knew she was looking for?
What should she do?
You are inundated with them every day.
Complicated to simple. Monumental to insignificant.
They impact the moment and they impact the rest of your life…no pressure!
With all the mind-wrangling and heart-wrenching that they can entail, sometimes you just really wish to rely on the good old Magic 8 Ball™ (“without a doubt”).
But if that is not a trustworthy way to make a decision, then what is?
Let us start with beliefs
One compass to set your decisions by is your beliefs.
You know you best.
You know what you value: what you need to be happy, what your dreams are, what makes you tick, what is important to you.
Having this clear understanding enables you to have a pretty good handle on the essence of yourself. Couple that with a fire to pursue achieving these things and you create a solid foundation from which to make choices that will manifest the life of your dreams and amplify the shine of your spirit.
This solid foundation allows you to weigh your options and consider how closely they are aligned with your values. Will this choice support your beliefs? Will it move you forward toward your dreams? Will it turn you in a new direction?
You may already notice how some choices in your life align magically and effortlessly with your beliefs and dreams, and therefore a decision feels good and is quite easy to make.
Other times you may notice that choices seem kind of like fitting the proverbial square peg in a round hole: they just do not exactly fit well in your life, they take a lot of effort to make them work, or they require you to shift in ways you are not entirely sure you want to be shifting.
Be aware of your beliefs and values. Let them drive your decision-making. Listen to your gut-instinct to tell you when you may be making divergent choices from them.
What is your body telling you?
Another compass to use in decision-making is your body, as in ‘tuning in’ to your body sensations.
Your body has a lot to tell you, although sometimes it seems easier to hear what it is saying than at other times
What can you do to really tune-in and listen? And how can that help you make decisions?
Well, think about the many sensations you feel running through your body in one moment or another: surges of joy, the heeby-jeebies, waves of love, crushing sadness.
The sensations come and go.
You are always sensing something, you just might not always be consciously aware of what precisely it is or is causing it.
So, to tune-in, try this:
Think of a situation which is/was undesirable to you. Visualize it in your mind. As you continue to visualize it, notice your body’s response to this situation. Feel what is going on in your body from head to toe.
Next, think of a situation which is/was pleasant for you. Again, visualize it and notice your body’s response to this situation.
Body-response to undesirable situations may include:
- Tightening of muscles
- Pressure or heaviness
- Goose bumps or hair raising
- Labored breathing
- Sense of dread or avoidance
Body-responses to pleasant situations may include:
- Feeling comfortable and at ease
- Lightness or brightness
- Warmth or calm
- Relaxed breathing
- Sense of peace, joy, excitement
What are your body responses? How does your body differentiate between undesirable and pleasant situations for you?
Take time to practice tuning in and recognizing your sensations. It is all about being consciously aware of yourself, entirely.
Now that you know how to tune-in, you can use that same process to gain insight regarding decisions.
Visualize the choices you have in mind. Tune in to your body’s response to each choice.
Are your responses more aligned with your undesirable situation responses, or with your pleasant situation responses?
Just like finding a vibrant station on the radio, once you tune in to your body you hear all sorts of amazing things loud and clear.
What would you tell your friend?
Yet another compass to use is an ‘imaginary best friend’.
When your best friend is in need of advice, you are right there for them and want the best for them.
Treat yourself like your best friend.
What would you tell your friend?
What are the pros or cons that you want them to be aware of?
How does this align with their beliefs?
How might this hold them back or help them grow?
How does this help them fulfill their dreams?
As a best friend you sometimes see the bigger picture without the influence of personal emotions. Creating a similar type of dialogue with yourself - one free of emotional attachments - allows you to consider other perspectives and weigh your choices with more clarity.
What if you had to? What if you could not?
One more compass that is useful in making decisions has to do with being pushed into a corner.
It goes like this:
Say, like my friend Sienna, you have an opportunity to embark upon another career.
You go back and forth with pros and cons but have not yet made a decision.
Now I come in and tell you, “The gig is up. The opportunity fell through; it is not gonna happen. Carry on with your current life.”
What is your immediate reaction? Relief? Disappointment? Joy? Anger?
Or if I come in and say, “Your friend has signed you up and you start next Monday, no ifs, ands, or buts. Get packing. No backing out now. Congratulations!”
Again, what is your immediate reaction?
When the choice is seemingly taken away from you and you are no longer in control, your immediate reaction reveals a lot about your true desires.
Sometimes you need to push yourself into a corner to realize the choice that most aligns with you.
Decisions do not need to be long, harrowing situations.
The more secure in your beliefs, aware of your body’s hidden messages, willingness to consider other perspectives, and in alignment with your true desires you are, the more confidently you are able navigate the myriad of decisions that you encounter every day.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
If the sun is shining, my Crosstrek is calling me to fill up her tank, throw open her sunroof, and head for the back-roads. With wind in my hair, I smile at everyone I see. Grace smiles back at me (even through the trees).