Thursday, 31 May 2012

How to Make an Important Decision

I hate decisions. I'm really indecisive. One of my favourite parts of turning vegetarian was that it knocked off most of the menu options when eating out!

Making an important decision can give you that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach? How will I make the right choice? What if I make a mistake? 

I don't like the conventional advice to "make a list of pros and cons" because at least in my case it often gets altered to fit what you think should give you the "right" answer, even if it's not right for you. For one thing, there isn't always one right answer, so don't over-analyse your decision! It's agonising and drags the whole process out. Don't worry so much!
Trust your gut instinct!
This amazing article from Psychology Today descibes how gut feelings and intuitions arise. It says that we absorb a multitude of information that we don't use immediately, but that the brain can piece together unconsciously to form a network of associations that it can access later. We often "know" the right decision immediately because we have subsconsciously analysed a wealth of knowledge that we didn't even realise we had. 
Sleep on it!
It is wise to make decisions in the morning. This settles your mind and allows you to understand your gut decision more easily. Stop churning the options round and round and get some sleep!
Write yourself a letter
Write a letter to yourself discussing your options. Don't really think about what you're writing, just put pen to paper and write as if you were talking out loud. This is less calculated than the "pros and cons" technique so your subconscious has more of a say, so combines reason with intuition.

Imagine you decided already
The method that works best for me is to imagine that you have made the decision, one way or the other. Do you feel relieved or stressed? Excited or disappointed? This really helps you know which option is right for you.

How do you make an important decision?

P.S. Did you know there's an entire philosophy behind flipping a coin? It is known as Flipism. 


Meanqueen said...

Hmmmmm, I'll have to think about that. Give me a few days :o)

skipandscatter said...

Oooohh. Great topic. I am horribly indecisive. In fact, I have been known to postpone deciding until the absolute very end. And you know what? Things usually just fall where they're supposed to. Maybe that is intuition? :)

Martha Love said...

Thank you Bryallen, I like your idea "imagine you decided already" as that usually works for me in showing just how at odds my thinking and my gut feelings are about something. Your gut feelings always work in behalf of your basic needs as a human being but the thinking process can be attached to what other people think you "should do" or "should have done". Often, it is time to reassess our experiences and reflect upon our gut feelings relating to a similar unresolved issue in our past from the one we are confused about. The memory is still there and accessed by the feelings of emptiness and fullness in our guts, which relate to the needs for acceptance and for freedom of our own responses, and these gut feelings can be reflected upon and often when the past issues are resolved, the present one becomes clear as well and decision making is becomes easy and successful.

You might enjoy reading my recent book based on 40 years of counseling experience and helping people learn to understand and to listen to their gut responses for healthy living and decision making.
"What's Behind Your Belly Button? on Amazon:

Martha Love