Have you ever felt in a complete panic over making that big decision? I know I’ve been sick to my stomach with fear when these situations come up. I ask the people closest to me, I wonder what they would do, and I go over it in my head a million times, running every possible response and scenario I can think of.
The first time I can consciously remember making one of these life-changing decisions was when I was a grad student working on my MSc. I slogged through, collected the data, lived in a shitty old rodent ridden trailer, constantly had wet feet, and kept my sanity by keeping focus on highlights of my day – taking off the soggy boots, eating, and having a hot shower.
I kept going.
I started writing, analyzing, collecting the literature….and just kept going. This dragged on, I got a job (which I loved at the time) and I kept saying, “I’ll do the degree and I’ll just keep going.”
Then my Mom passed away.
That changed it all, my world was turned upside down and I began to re-evaluate. I now had a new perspective, I realized life was too short, I hated what I was doing, and the decision to begin a masters was for ALL the wrong reasons.
I wanted to quit.
It took me a year to get the guts to do it and I felt like I might just die when I did. Literally.
The anxiety, the stories running through my head, the fear of what my family, friends, partner, and advisor would say. Every fearful story I could imagine was part of my inner news feed. I wanted someone to tell me what to do, how to make it so everyone was happy.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that the anxiety was not actually about the decision, it was about the gap between the decision I thought I needed to make and the decision I knew I needed to make. Subtle? Maybe, but definitely a powerful distinction.
When our trained-brains get involved we second guess ourselves, we think about what people would say and who it might affect. We worry over what others might think if we make one decision over another, and we worry that it will somehow tarnish our amazing reputation. In this worrying and ruminating we are focused outside ourselves on the world and people around us.
We freak out.
But, when we make a decision because we know inside that it’s the right one, we are more calm (even if we’re nervous), and we are resolved and confident in dealing with the consequences of our choice. Why? Because we are listening within ourselves – this is what I mean by knowing. We align our actions, our thoughts, our energy, and we know it’s the right choice for us. The distance between a decision based on factors outside ourselves and a decision arrived at through an inner inquiry is the gap that creates the tension between the two and causes your anxiety.
This ‘knowing’ is our intuition and our divine connection.
It’s also something we’ve been taught to ignore in favour of more logical evaluations of situations.
The question is: how do you shift from seeking advice outside of yourself and making decisions to please others, to seeking advice within and move forward powerfully in decision making?
Here are 5 ways that will support your inward journey. You:
1. Quiet Yourself
Call it anything you want; meditation, contemplation, sitting quietly and emptying your mind. It’s a way to give yourself and your inner state your full attention. It sets the stage for listening, and shows you are willing and open. It trains your mind to recognize it’s not in charge. To practice quieting yourself, sit where you won’t be disturbed, take a few deep full breaths, and let the thoughts go. When they arise, notice them and let them leave. This quiet offering shows your receptiveness and opens you to what is waiting to be received.
2. Feel Your Body
While sitting, or in any other place or situation, take three deep breaths, close your eyes, and pay attention to the sensations in your body. Are your fingers tingling? Do you have a lump in your throat? Is your stomach churning? Do you feel warmth and energy in your chest? This attention to your body’s messages can help you bring your awareness to the places that have information to share and that will help you to make aligned decisions.
3. Ask the Questions and Pay Attention to the Spontaneous Answers
All you have to do is ask. It’s that simple. When you set your intention and ask for guidance – it shows up. Remember that it may be something other than what you expected or wanted, but these pictures, words, feelings, and events have so much support to offer as we seek clarity on what to do. Answers and guidance come in many forms other than words or instructions – acknowledge these bits and share your gratitude. The first thought, feeling, word, or picture that comes to mind is your intuition and true guide, gracefully accept the support, even when you don’t know what it means.
4. Build Trust
Since you are just starting to reconnect with your wisdom, you need to begin rebuilding trust in your own voice and guidance. This can take time, it can take adjusting your dial to pick up what’s being offered. It also takes commitment to learning, growing, and being open to becoming more aware in each opportunity. When you begin to listen and take action according to your intuition, you will notice the changes and you will receive even more support. They may be slight shifts in feeling and perception about situations, shifts in your energy when you mean and say ‘no’ with grace and gratitude, and feelings of ease when you make decisions based on your intuition.
5. Explore Your Own Desires
Now that you have created a practice of encouraging your mind to embrace silence, feeling your body’s messages, asking directly and paying attention to the answers, and building your own trust in the messages, it’s time for the next level. Exploring your desires – those things you REALLY want. This is a phenomenal opportunity to start digging deep and exploring where else you are being called to listen and acknowledge the knowing that is resting within you for discovery.
Finding ways to explore your desires, inquire deep inside yourself, and feel the support of your own intuitive nature is an amazing experience. To begin focusing your attention within, and creating transformative energy to fuel movement in the direction of your dreams, book a discovery session with me and I will help you inspire yourself towards building that life and and receiving the guidance you really need.