Sometimes clients tell me things like: “If only someone would tell me what to do!” or “I wish somebody else could decide that for me.” There are some possible answers that you may choose, as written in the “Wake up Butterfly” post (the answers are YES, NO or WAIT). They may be useful for small and big decisions. But what to do when the “wait” option sounds the only safe one and you keep waiting and waiting? Will you spend your life like that? Of course not. So how can you make the right choice for you, that you won’t regret?
Francis of Assisi, though I’m not religious (but do have faith) I think he’s a very wise man, once said the following famous quote:
Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference between the two.
One of the most difficult things in life is making difficult decisions, especially when it comes to essential questions such as career choice, having children, quitting job, leaving your business partner or spouse, investing big money, selling company, etc., you name it.
I’ve read somewhere in the research newsletter I’m subscribed to, that when you decide upon smaller, everyday things, it is recommended to rationalize, analyse pros and cons and to think through all possible scenarios you can think of. You can do SWOT or whatever you like. However, when it comes to the big decisions (like those mentioned above), it is actually better to simply act and not listen to your brain too much. In other words – rely upon your intuition.
Some clues how you can try and listen to your intuition or your gut feeling. Ask yourself what you would think about yourself in 5 years if you decided not to do it. How about 15 years? Where would you be? Would you be sorry you didn’t do it or decided for the other option? At that point stop your thoughts and listen. Really, stop. Listen to your gut feeling. Take as much time you need. Observe your shoulders, your breath and stomach. If you get distracted or nervous, that’s okay. Allow it and as you acknowledge it, slowly return to listening. Are you smiling inside? Are you afraid, nervous, but curious? Or are you disappointed with your decision? It may be difficult to describe that in words, so simply observe the feeling. You’ll know whether it’s pleasant or not. Maybe you won’t be pleased with what you find out, and that’s okay too.
It is okay to be afraid in whatever you do or picture yourself. It’s humane. What is the worst case scenario that could happen to you if you decide to do it/not do it? Is there something or someone you could ask for help? What is the best possible scenario? There are different kinds of fear. One is being afraid and excited at the same time. Another is being afraid and feeling disgusted or whatever. Your gut feeling will tell you what you should do. Don’t believe everything you think. Your brain may sometimes bring you to careful alert position that you will hold for good. It’s safe, I agree. But so far, no one has survived. We all have to die one day. So since you’re not going to get out of this alive anyway, how safe do you have to drive?