As a trusted advisor, I have anywhere between 40-80 meetings a week where I am privy to the inner thoughts, desires, goals (and yes fears) of my clients and those curious about being my client (I know – it’s such an honour!). But regardless of the conversation topic, I would say 90% of the time, clients are looking to make a decision and wanting me to weigh in from my perspective. (I still pinch myself because I really do get paid to do what I love – speak my mind and give my opinion – halleluja sweet baby Jesus!) However, very rarely will I emphatically tell a client what to do. Instead I normally first ask “what does your gut say”? Nine times out of ten, they know the decision (maybe only subconsciously) they want to make, and rather than be told what to do, what they really need is just permission to trust themselves. (I have to mention though, the other day, when I asked someone ‘what does your gut say’ they responded with ‘oh my god, I don’t know, I get indigestion, when I do a gut check!’ – ok then…)
Once in a while, however, clients really are stuck and looking for some concrete suggestion on what to do, in which case I’ll say “if I were you, I would…” and not only tell them what I would do, but more importantly why. Again, it’s important to me, not to do the work for my clients, but instead to bumper bar them to a place where they are able to gather enough information to make a solid decision, grounded in their authentic truth and stemming from their own desires.
There’s no question, that making decisions can be challenging, and especially those of us with strong minds, capable of ping ponging the varying choices back and forth making ourselves close to crazy, so let me give you a little formula I use whenever I am looking to make a decision.
- Gut Check – (hopefully you don’t get indigestion when you do this.) Now, truth be told, many people toss the term ‘gut check’ around without really doing it properly. A gut check is really about checking in with your body – specifically the area in your belly (where your 2nd chakra lives – the chakra re: relationship to anything). In this case your gut check is to sense, and or feel, your relationship to the decision you’re making. You are looking to feel resonance, perhaps even enthusiastic excitement (feels like champagne bubbles) with the decision. For example, if you were trying to decide between whether to take on this particular new project, when you do a ‘gut check’ you’re feeling the difference in your belly when you think a – take on new project, or b – don’t take on new project. If you TRULY tap in to your body – you will feel the difference. The only other thing you have to do is TRUST your body’s messaging. (Seems to be the most challenging for indecisive libras:)
- Write down the decision you are trying to make. (It will likely be in the form of a question – should I ….?) You’ve heard me say this before – making it 3D – i.e. writing it out sends a loud and clear message to your subconscious, the universe, and your reticular activating system in your brain – that you are looking for some specific information, some concrete feedback.
- Track the clues. Once you’ve written your question down you need to be SUPER observant, open (i.e. don’t judge the clues as they show up) and prepared to document the information that is going to be coming your way. And you DON’T make a decision when the first clue shows up. Track your clues for at least 48 hours before you sit down to review everything objectively.
- After a few days, sit down, take a look at the clues that have come your way. Most likely your decision will be obvious, but do a second gut check to be sure.
- Get support. Often times when you’re going through this much work to make a decision, it’s because some part of you is scared to do what another part of you knows is necessary. Once you’re clear on your decision (not when you’re still deciding) reach out to those who will support you in taking the necessary steps the decision will require of you. Keep in mind that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and just because you know what decision you will make, doesn’t mean you have to go racing in to action. You have to honour all parts of yourself (especially the part that’s likely scared) and give yourself the time and space to do what you have to do.
I remember when I was trying to decide whether to take Chris Flett up on his offer to fund my start up or stay with my cushy 6 figure job. I was distraught. I wrote down the question and headed off to a weekend at Harrison Lake with friends. I was praying for signs and clues. One evening after dinner we headed out on the lake to do some fishing. We shut off the boat and were fishing away when one of my girlfriends started freaking out. “Heather, what the hell is going on?????” (Now I have witnesses to this story, otherwise, I know you’d think I was crazy, and they’ve all agreed to testify:)
Above my head, in a perfect line, only nature could provide, was a plume of fireflies. They hovered above me as if they carried an important message. (Oh yeah, I knew what the message was). But no one else there had any idea of this HUGE life changing decision I was wrestling with. My friend quickly turned on the boat, almost scared by this incredible sight, and said “lets see what happens when we drive away?”. So we criss-crossed the boat all around the lake, and that plume of fireflies stayed right inline with the crown of my head, as if crazy glue held them in place.
I couldn’t argue, justify or become logical about this loud clue. My gut check confirmed what this display of nature indicated. Decision was made. Monday morning I put my notice in and I haven’t looked back since.
Making big decisions (and even little decisions) can be challenging. Let me know if this formula gives you some help in the process?