Has this ever happened to you?
- You’ve been offered a job which you were hopelessly enthusiastic about until those immortal words “we’d like to offer you the job” were uttered and reality set in. Now you feel like running and hiding in the nearest small, dark cave.
- Or maybe you’ve been asked to take a project forward in a certain way at work. It’s weird because you can’t quite put your finger on why, but something about it feels very uncomfortable and icky.
So you procrastinate a bit. Take some time. Think about your options. Trouble is, rather than making any sort of productive decisions you end up spending hours, perhaps days, worrying; ‘what if I let Brian down, what if I make the wrong decision.
Recently I was in exactly this situation. I’d applied for a part time job to sit alongside my coaching work and I’d been offered it.
It should have been joyous!
Instead, the way I knew I was suddenly sat squarely in the middle of a huge pile of fresh cow poo was because as soon as I’d heard “you’re hired” my body started getting pretty darn irritable with me: I normally pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow, but that week I didn’t catch a wink. Within a few days I started to find myself feeling pretty irrational and uncharacteristically grumpy, and I noticed that I suddenly felt really trapped.
But while I knew all was not well in chateau Joey, I couldn’t be sure because the voices in my head kicked in. And all that body and head chatter makes clarity an elusive quantity.
So when difficult decision come a-knockin’ what do you do?
To cut a long story short, what I learnt during this process was that making authentic decisions that are based on what’s right for you are immeasureably important. Decisions from the heart reflect our values whereas decisions from our heads are a product of our mental state at that time. So for solid, honest, real, look-back-and-know-you-made-the-right-decision decisions, here are a few quick tricks to get out of your head and back listening to your authentic self:
- Start listening to what your body is telling you – do you feel nervous / twitchy / grumpy / uneasy or something similar? Notice your patterns and whether anything has changed for you and your physical well being since this decision arose it’s head? (This is a sure sign that trouble is on the horizon – listen to the wisodm of your physical self).
- It’s really easy to get caught up in what other people think you should do – all that advice flying around the place. So try writing down a list of pros and cons for all your options. It’s not so important what you put on the list, or even how long the list of pros or cons is. Simply notice whether you are trying to sway the results. Are you actively making one of the options seem more favourable?
- Finally, what if one of your options was taken away – try to visualise your new job offer (for example) being retracted. Are you be disappointed or relieved? This should give you some massive clues about which way to go forward.
Ball’s in your court
How have you dealt with difficult decisions in the past? How are you at making decisions full stop? And what do you notice about what makes them difficult for you?
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