This question has so many possible tangents to explore. It’s a question that keeps people stuck where they are because they don’t know what they want. They don’t know how to recognise what’s right for them. Or they’re so focused on what could go wrong – ‘what if I make the wrong decision?’ that they can’t comprehend the notion of tuning in to the feeling of what’s ‘right’. What if I make the wrong decision was the focus of the last blog – if you need to review that first, head over HERE and check it out. This week, let’s talk about knowing what’s right for you.
The ‘knowing’ that we’re talking about here is self-awareness. It’s not an intellectual decision of right or wrong – which is the thing I believe trips people up. When making a decision based on what’s ‘right’ for me, it’s not about making the ‘right’ answer. That is a completely different thing. If you’re focusing on making the right decision, or rather not making the wrong decision, you’re probably looking outside of yourself for the criteria of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Knowing what’s right for you is an inner feeling. It’s that feeling you get in your gut when you know something to be true. When you feel like you’re being yourself, relaxed, connected to the people and places around you, and you feel good. That’s the ‘knowing’ I’m talking about.
When life gets busy it’s easy to slip into a completely intellectual zone of organising, scheduling, and analysing, and you forget about being aware of what’s happening in your body. You stop listening to your body and its messages about being tired, hungry, or needing to move, and you lose touch with the gut feelings that give you the messages about what’s right for you.
Learning to know what’s right for you starts with listening to yourself. You can do this by sitting quietly – meditating or journaling or daydreaming over a cuppa. It’s also great to get outside and go for a walk so your intellectual brain can switch off. When you switch off the analytical thoughts you give yourself the space to tune in to your gut feelings. Ask yourself the question you’ve been pondering (the thing you’re wanting to know if it’s right for you) and allow options to filter through without judgement or analysis. Don’t limit yourself. Listen to what you feel excited about, notice what motivates you and inspires you to take action. These are the things that are ‘right for you’. Then bring in the intellectual brain to figure out how.
What I’ve described here is a strategy that’s worked for me several times – you’re welcome to try it on and see if it works for you. You might have your own way of knowing what’s right for you – and that’s great! After all, it’s you that has to know! 😊
Have a great week!
In the moment of feeling stuck between fear of making the wrong decision and confusion over which is the right decision – a lot of fantastic life opportunities can pass you by.
To borrow the concept of a C.S. Lewis quote:
Making a decision
To put it bluntly, getting stuck on trying to make the ‘right’ decision (or on trying to avoid the wrong the decision) is either about: 1) looking for validation outside of yourself, or 2) not spending enough time with yourself to know what it is you want (which can be the reason you look to others for the answer). Either way, at the end of the day, you’ve gotta do what’s right for you. It’s your life, not someone else’s. If you don’t know what’s right for you, then maybe it’s time to do some soul searching and personal research? (Tip: personal research isn’t about doing a survey of your family and friends about what they think is right for you – that’s just another form of looking for external validation). Get to know yourself so you know what’s right for you, and find the courage to act on it.
Let’s follow through on the concept of making the wrong decision – after all, that’s what’s got you stuck, right? The ‘what ifs’. So, what if you make a decision and you don’t like the outcome? Well, my perspective is you call it experience, and then make a different decision. (And if you don’t like that outcome, call it experience, and make a different decision). More decisions made equals more experience gained and a closer step to the right decision (i.e. the right one for you!). Sometimes you need to make a few ‘wrong’ decisions, to know what the right one is. But if you don’t make the first step, you’ll never know...right?
It’s all about the contrast of what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ for you, and that’s how you get to know yourself and what you really want. But if you just live with the decision that’s making you unhappy and don’t explore the contrast to find out what you really want instead, then you’ve learned nothing about yourself and will continue to be unhappy. At the end of the day, that’s your choice. But you can also choose to do something about it!
Here are some ideas to help you move towards making a decision:
Day dream ideas and options for finding your way forward from your current situation. Day dreaming allows you to come up with ideas that the logic brain may dismiss as ‘impossible’ at first glance. Be bold and crazy with your ideas. Out of the ‘crazy’ the ‘very possible and perfect’ idea can emerge. Coming up with ideas and options isn’t making a set decision. They are just options. Day dreaming helps you to think outside the square. Don’t be held in by what you think you ‘should’ do, or what you think other people might think. What, in your wildest dreams, could be possible?
Once you have options, research them. Write a list of pros and cons. Talk over your ideas with someone who is open to thinking outside the box and who isn’t tied to the outcome (that is, they have your interests at heart, and won’t get hung up on the ‘shoulds’ and won’t hold you back on how they think you ‘should’ behave). Spend some time reflecting on your options and listen to your heart. What feels right? What’s right for you?
Sometimes it may seem like you have no options at all. If this is the case, don’t force it, just wait and let life go on. Maybe you still need to transition. Maybe the dust is still settling around the change. Maybe the ‘right’ option hasn’t yet made itself known. Just wait, and remain open to opportunities.
What decision do you need to make? Which forward direction feels ‘right’ for you?
Gather up your courage – and do it!
Have a great week!
Life experience has taught me a lot about change - its messiness and my desire to circumnavigate it in a more efficient way. In this blog I share my experience so you too can survive change with a smile on your face!