We make decisions every day. Some of them happen almost instinctively, like brushing your teeth when you wake up in the morning or washing your hands after you go to the bathroom.
Those are simple everyday choices we make with a purpose. You know why you do it. You brush your teeth because you hate seeing the dentist and wash your hands to keep your hands clean.
But do you ever think about why you make other choices? I’m talking serious decisions here, like why you want to have a certain job, why you want to have kids, why you want to get married…
There’s a purpose or intention behind every decision you make (even if you aren’t aware of it), and that intention influences the outcome of your decision. If you’re not clear about why you’re making a certain decision, the desired outcome could be tainted by things you weren’t even aware of.
So for example, if you have kids because of the pressure you feel to have kids at a certain age (or fear you can’t have them later), then that pressure, that tension, and that fear can be passed onto your child who may grow up with a natural tendency to make their decisions based on fear.
1. Take time to get to know YOU!
Spend some time to get to know you – every deepest darkest part of you. I think part of the issue with making unconscious decisions is that people don’t really take the time to explore themselves. This is why yoga, meditation, or any other mindfulness activity that brings you into mind-body awareness is so valuable. Knowing who you are is the first step to making conscious choices.
2. Feeling in alignment vs. out of alignment
Hearing and listening to my intuition doesn’t come naturally to me. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to distinguish between knowing what is right for me, the real me, and what is right for me based on the me I think I should be.
I know I need to change the way I make decisions– and you can too! Start with simple decisions you make everyday. If you have to choose what to eat for lunch, choose with your gut one day and then choose with your head the next day. Then compare the experiences of the two. What was the outcome? What was your body’s response to each choice you made?
For me, making a decision in alignment with my truth makes me feel relaxed and happy. There are no knots in my stomach. No tension in my chest. I just feel GOOD about the decision. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have made a decision that wasn’t true for me, but I played all these games with my mind to make me feel good about it.
Watch the responses your body has to every intention and every thought because it carries valuable information for what’s true for you.
3. Listen to your gut
How many times have you made a decision from your rational mind, but with a feeling or instinct that something wasn’t right? And how many times did that decision end in disaster? You have 27,000 nerve endings in your stomach that are talking to you all the time, guiding you to do what is right for YOU. When you listen to your gut, you are listening to your soul.
4. Have courage
When you start listening to your gut, it may tell you things completely different from your mind (and your parents, and your peers, and society in general). It takes a lot of courage and strength to follow that small voice inside when it’s being drowned out by everything else. If you feel like you don’t have courage to listen, take it one decision at a time. Everytime you listen to that voice inside, you will feel more and more empowered. You gain the courage by deciding to listen.
You are the only person that knows what is true for you! Own your truth with every decision you make.