By Abeer Jabaji
Personal Development Coach and Classical Homeopath
Should I accept the job offer and put my dream project on hold? True, it’s a great opportunity that will open doors for me, but I want to do something else. I want to accomplish a dream I’ve held onto for a long time. I know that the money is good and the comfort that this job will offer me is great.
Besides, I will excel at it. Yet, a little voice whispers in my head, “What about the project?” I can’t make up my mind!
We’ve all been in similar situations where we find it difficult to make hard decisions. On the other hand, we make minor decisions every day — what to wear, what to eat, how to spend our time. Making such decisions is easy. You make your choice, and even if it’s not the best decision, the potential outcomes are rarely devastating. If you bought the red sweater instead of the blue one, your life would not be altered in any way even though, for some, this can be upsetting until they exchange it the next day. If you choose to eat pizza instead of a healthy salad, you will not lose sleep over it. Maybe just a bit of indigestion and a slight headache from comparing calories consumed.”
A leap of faith
Difficult decisions are not easy to make: Should I move to another country? Is that person right for me? Should I quit my job? Sometimes the possible consequences of a hard decision are so complicated, your brain gets confused and indecision takes over. You freeze in your place. The more you think about it, the more you feel stuck and you wait for a miracle or a sign to point you in the right direction. Yes, I feel this person is my soulmate even though we fight all the time and I usually end up walking home because he or she dumps me in the middle of the street. Ultimately, any decision involves a leap of faith. Start with your head but also listen to your heart. Here are some tips for how to make a decision without regret, according to Barrie Davenport, a self-improvement thought leader:
1. Having a life vision: A life vision can be the foundation for every decision you make. How do you envision your life in your mind (career, relationships, finances, lifestyle and so on)? What values define this vision for you? Write down your vision and the values that define it. Then when a hard decision comes along, you can use this vision as a guide. Try to evaluate your choices based on your vision. Which one aligns closest with your vision?
2.Evaluating the pros and cons: Consider the possible positive and negative aspects or consequences of your decision. Write down a list of pros and cons for each possible alternative. Then prioritise these points by putting the most pressing or important at the top of the list. What are the possible implications of the cons? Do they outweigh the pros? Can you live with the potential negative consequences of the cons?
3. Being aware when fear is dictating your decisions: The Self (“ego”) always wants to be in control. It wants to doubt, argue, and, most of all, avoid uncertainty and loss at all costs. The ego is terrified. If you’re not aware that your ego is making decisions based on fear, you’ll keep choosing what your ego deems certain and secure, even at the expense of your health, happiness, life purpose, and financial potential
4. Phoning a friend: Carefully select a couple of trusted friends whose opinion and judgment you value. Tell them about your life vision, tell them about your list of pros and cons and ask for their input about your decision. Someone who is removed from the turmoil of the decision and who has a different perspective can help you see things in a clearer light. A personal coach can also help you gain clarity around your decision by asking you helpful questions related to your motivations, feelings and desires
5.Asking for guidance: Go to a quiet place. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Go within. Pray or meditate (or whatever feels right to you) and ask for guidance. Your own inner wisdom and intuition will often rise to your conscious mind when you calm the mental chaos of over-thinking your decision. Imagine yourself in all of the possible outcomes and pay attention to how you feel. Make notes about your feelings after reflection. Give it a few days. You may be surprised that the answer presents itself unexpectedly
6. Trying the coin trick: This idea puts you in direct contact with your intuition. Grab a coin and assign one decision choice to heads and the other to tails. Flip the coin and before it lands, pay attention to the side you hope it lands on. If there are more than two choices, balance each choice against another using the same trick. Most likely, this immediate reaction is what you truly want to do. Something in your heart is pulling you in that direction. Examine this result carefully, because even if the choice conflicts with all of the practical considerations, you may be dishonouring your deepest desires
7. Researching and experimenting: Do the work to gain as much knowledge as possible about the options. Research, ask questions and talk with people who have experienced each scenario. If possible, experiment with alternative outcomes. If you are deciding on a move, spend a fair amount of time in the city you are contemplating. If you are exploring a job opportunity, ask to spend a day or two helping in the office. If you are thinking of ending a relationship, test some time apart before you make your decision
8. Comparing the choice to your past choices: Do you keep making the same type of choice and each time you regret it? Do you see a pattern in your choices? If you see a pattern, try doing the complete opposite of what you have always chosen. If you keep making the same mistake over and over again, the OPPOSITE way can’t be a mistake. It may feel uncomfortable, cause stress and make you anxious, but do it anyway
9. Never looking back: If you have done the work, honoured your vision, examined the pros and cons, sought guidance, done your due diligence and connected with your intuition, then make your choice, take the leap and don’t look back. There are millions of paths we can take in a lifetime, all leading to different opportunities and potential consequences. You won’t have a guarantee, but you don’t need one. Uncertainty is part of the adventure of life. Once you are on this new adventure, have confidence that you made the best decision with the information available, and move forward with confidence. There is something good to be learned on every path we follow
Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine