Got a decision to make?


Photo Credit: Todd Downs
Photo Credit: Todd Downs

Making decisions is not my strong point, especially smaller ones… the yellow or blue t-shirt?  Dilemmas like this freeze my mind, and root my feet to the floor. I’ve no idea, I’ll buy both! It’s something I’ve come to accept about myself.

Bigger decisions comes more easily to me, they seem to come from an inner calling, that steadily grows louder over time. There are times however when a decision brings up a lot of fear and I don’t want to acknowledge my decision, sending my mind into a spin seeing all options from all angles, can you relate?

Whether your decision is to leave a job, change careers, buy a home, get married, they require you to tune in to your intuition.

Our inner guidance system that is quietly whispering to us will steer us in the right direction, the challenge is to quiet our minds enough to hear it, trust it and act on it.

Here are my tips to achieving this.

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Go for a walk with your thoughts

Spend some time in quiet reflection, if your head is a jumble of colliding thoughts and your not thinking in complete sentences, then get some fresh air, take yourself out for a walk and let your mind ruminate over your choices and follow the thoughts. Which ones are repeating? Notice how you feel in your body with each one. Which thoughts lead you to anxiety and which thoughts feel calming? Are there two or three ideas, or possibilities circling your mind?

Give yourself the time and space to allow for a little freak out. Feel your feelings, you will work through this and all will be well again, but for now feel what’s going on inside. You may need an hour, or a day or two, set a time limit on this!

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Journal it out

Sit with your notebook and pen at home or in a favourite café and let your thoughts pour out onto the page. Everything in your mind, write it down. I find this process so freeing and it’s often surprising what pours out onto the page. Don’t interrupt yourself, let it all out, and don’t judge what you’ve written, no analysis! Keep writing until you run dry.

Now that you’ve cleared some space in your mind write out the decision you are facing. Write everything you think and feel about it. If you do A how does that look, what about B. What’s holding you back from comfortably making a decision. What if you do nothing? What do you want? What are you afraid of? What challenges do you face? Write it all out.

Often this process can help us determine what we want, what is holding us back, what challenges we need to overcome.

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Talk it over

Do you feel talking to someone about this will help? Perhaps you can reach out to a friend who has been through something similar, or an expert working in the relevant field, or both. If you feel this would help, make it your next step to take.

Sometimes talking to different people and gathering lots of opinions is confusing and takes us away from what’s in our hearts. So be selective in who you talk to and your motivation for doing so.

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Make meditation your friend. Make time for it every single day, that way it will really serve you. The benefits of meditation are accumulative.

Listening to Hayhouse Radio, Davidji was talking about meditation and it’s something that has stayed with me that helped me re-establish a solid meditation practice for myself. He said to meditate twice a day; Rise, pee, meditate (RPM) and Right after work (RAW).

Start with 3 minutes, set a timer. Sit up tall, on the bed, feet on the floor, cross legged, or sat on the floor with a cushion underneath you, or back against a wall, whatever feels better for you. Close your eyes and start to slow your breath down. Inhaling draw the breath down into your tummy, feeling it expand, exhaling the breath moves back towards your spine. Sit like this watching your breath. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath, over and over so that gradually your thoughts start to fade into the background, as though you’ve turned down the volume on the radio, you can still hear it but your not listening and so with your thoughts, they are still there, but you’re not engaged with them.

If you find your mind to too busy use a mantra, you can try repeating ‘I am calm and happy’ as you inhale and ‘I release tension and stress’ as you exhale. Using whatever words apply to your emotional state, see what comes to you and repeat them to yourself until you find some that feel right. (I will write more on mantras in another post.)

Return the next day and increase the time by one more minute. Doing this daily until you reach 20 minutes.

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Visualise yourself standing on a path at a crossroads as it breaks into the two or three paths, each path representing the choices available to you.

Walk along the first path leading to your first option and imagine yourself in that scenario, notice how you feel in your body. Do you feel light, happy? Is there tension in your body, butterflies in your tummy, tightness in your throat?

If the mind jumps in with its chatter, “But how will I pay for it? What if I fail?” then breathe deeply and imagine yourself in the situation, while keeping your focus on your emotions and how you feel in your body.

In your mind’s eye, walk back to your starting point and repeat for each option you have. Notice how you feel, how your body feels after imagining is choice happening.

Mind chatter is generally fear. Acknowledge it and return your attention to how you want to feel, what you want to happen.

Follow what feels good and keep moving in the direction of your dreams.

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Got any tips of your own? I’d love to hear about what helps you in making decisions. Let me know in the comments below.

 With love,

Nichola x

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10 thoughts on “Got a decision to make?

  1. Second the above Nicola! I’ve had to work hard on my decision making over the years (I’ve made some spectacularly dreadful ones!!!). If I have the time, the best way for me is to allow the decision to emerge all by itself. But if that takes too long, I turn to some of the above, especially walking and journalling.

  2. Yes, I’m all for walking and journaling too ~ any kind of decision making process has been hard won for me, veering between being frozen, and then
    thinking ‘to hell with it!’ It’s not healthy to swing from one end of the spectrum to another! I found your perspective really helpful, Nichola, and can’t help but think I’ll be returning to this post in future…

  3. Something I use with my doula clients is BRAINS.
    No action, i.e. what happens in a ‘do nothing’ scenario
    Science. What does the scientific research say? Obviously this last point only applies in some situations 😊

    1. Oh I love that. So useful for when you’re having a conversation and expected to make a decision! Thanks for sharing xx

  4. Love this! I feel very connected to the journaling idea. I have been meditating daily (with just one miss!) for the past year and have found it helps with making decisions quite a bit- mainly because it seems to help me connect with the quiet part that knows what to do, as you said. I love the visualization idea and the point that mind chatter is actually fear. This feels very true. Thanks so much for another wonderful post!

    1. Thanks Caroline. I think the key thing is not to search for answers while you are meditating. I love hearing how meditation is working for you, so often we give up feeling having not given it enough time, so thank you for sharing xx

  5. Journaling is one of the main ways that I discover what I truly want and desire because writing is my deepest outlet. Writing is like thinking clearly for me. I also like the idea of visualization. It’s important to think about the future and how you want to pave that road and create dreams comes true.

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