How to Make Big, Fat, Scary Decisions, Fearlessly

shutterstock_157129676In my private coaching work, I’m often confronted by clients who, when faced with a major decision like a job change, a relocation, or even a marriage proposal, freeze like a deer in the headlights.

I get this. I’ve been there myself.

Many of us worry that we will make the wrong decision, and that the consequences will then be too high.

Others of us have past experience with making choices that didn’t work out, and as a result now don’t trust ourselves to make the right one.

So how do you overcome the paralysis of a tough decision when the right answer isn’t immediately obvious? Here’s the advice I give to my clients all the time.

1) Purge yourself of any past experiences that are influencing your decision-making.

Let’s say you took a job where, despite alarm bells in the interview process, you thought you’d be ok. Lo and behold, your boss turned out to be an abusive jerk, and now you’re wondering whether you’ll ever be able to make a good job decision again.

Past does not have to be prologue. You need to make your current choices from a place that is clean and clear from baggage you might be carrying from that prior experience.

Write down everything of that negative experience that still troubles you– every detail, every bit of guilt you might have, every ounce of self-doubt that still lives in that place.

And then, sign the paper as follows: “I am grateful for everything I learned from this experience. I made the best decision I could at the time, and I forgive myself in any way I need to. I release this experience completely and thankfully.”

Lastly, burn the paper. You can do this in a vase or your kitchen sink if you live in an apartment, but do burn it.

You’ll be shocked by how this exercise can change you energetically, and prepare you for what’s coming next.

2) Get informed.

Paralysis in decision making can sometimes be predicated by simply not knowing enough to make the choice that’s most aligned with where you want to go.

Concerned about a new job environment? Ask to speak to others in the same position about their experiences there.

Unsure about a move to another state? Make a list of priorities and values for your ideal locale and get down to brass tacks by getting your Google on.

Still stuck? Ask some friends whose opinions you value for their input. I have a secret weapon in the form of a crew of powerhouse entrepreneurs who never get it wrong when it comes to intuiting a good decision. I can even ask them for a thumbs up/thumbs down call, and never have they steered me wrong.

Find out all you still might need to know, and then settle into that knowledge, because Step 3 is where the rubber really meets the road.

3) Get silent.

This is the point in the process where it’s time to trust your own intuition. If you sit still and listen, it never lies.

For most of my clients and myself, however, it takes some practice to get to the kind of silence where answers become obvious and you trust the result.

This week alone, I’ve had to hit my yoga mat, sit in meditation, and tap into my reserves more times than I can count to get to a place of really listening to what my gut is telling me.

So how do you get silent and prepare to listen? Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, set the scene so you can relax, and then just sit, eyes closed, and ask for the answer.

Sometimes, it’s a mere fraction of a second before it arises.

The trick is not to second guess it.

But just in case you’re concerned, I’ll offer you one last piece of advice that I’ve offered before on this blog: you are exactly where you are supposed to be. There are no wrong choices and there are no wrong moves. Everything is leading you down the right path. Trust me on this.

And most importantly, once you’ve made the choice, go with it! Life is here to teach us and experience us as much as we are here to learn from and experience it. No second guessing, no beating yourself up, no wondering “what if?”

Now is your time. Make the choice, take the leap, and don’t look back.

That, ultimately, is a recipe for loving your life.

And have a great week.

Elizabeth

PS. I’m back on Ivanka Trump’s website this week in my role as her Entrepreneur in Residence, offering my advice to powerhouse women on The Five Most Important Conversations to Have When You’re Dating. Check it out.

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