Making powerful decisions

Powerful decisions require the involvement of body, mind and soul.

by Ada Porat — 

“Every option seems to have a down side. How do I know which is best? I just do not know what to do,” a friend recently complained.

She was caught in a quandary. After losing a well-paying job and pounding the pavement for months to find another, an excellent opportunity came up — but it required moving out of state. A decision had to be made: stay on unemployment and hope for something locally, or uproot the family to make the move. Each option offered the potential for benefit, as well as sacrifice.

The conversation reminded me of a similar dilemma I faced years ago and of the four principles I extracted from the experience:

1. Decision making is easy when there are no discrepancies in your value system. The fact is, decisions must be made almost every moment of every day, and those choices unfold as failures or successes and as disappointing or fulfilling.

A clear understanding of your core values will help you choose wisely at the decision-making crossroads of life. These inner values represent the immediate content of the process. Awareness of your core values will enable you to make choices that are in harmony with those values. If you value providing for your family, sacrifices such as working out of town for a while will be more acceptable than if you deeply cherish the comfort of the known.

I have found that most people who cling to the comforts of their known environment do so out of fear — fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of making mistakes. If you want to make great decisions, you need to evict fear from your life. It is a dream-killer and a useless waste of energy.

2. Effective decision-making factors show up in content, as well as in the context of the situation. Your inner world of values and desires constitutes the immediate content of your decisions. Beyond that, effective decision making also requires you to consider the external context of your environment.

In the example above, my friend needed to consider the timing of the job offer, overall job-market conditions, other offers and how a decision might impact the family.

3. Powerful decisions require you to be truthful. Decisions based on truth lead to empowerment and living an authentic life. Choices that compromise your truth lead to conflict and confusion.

A time comes when we must choose to honor our truth and let the chips fall where they may. As Marianne Williamson has said, “Our playing small does not serve the world.”

A Course in Miracles states that truth is not frail. It can withstand envy, misperception and judgment. True power lies in choosing from within, from the strength of having owned your fears and from the gentleness that you carry with grace.

A great way of drilling down to your truth is by asking yourself powerful questions. Answering them will help you uncover patterns of self-sabotage, fear or compromise so that you can make clear decisions.

Author Debbie Ford outlines many great questions in her book, The Right Questions. Here are a few:

  • Will this choice propel me forward or keep me stuck in the past?
  • Will it bring me long-term fulfillment or short-term gratification?
  • Am I standing in my power or trying to please another?
  • Am I looking for what is right or for what is wrong?
  • Will this choice add to my life force or rob my energy?
  • Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow or as an excuse to beat myself up?
  • Does this choice empower or disempower me?
  • Is this an act of self-love or of self-sabotage?

4. Powerful decisions require the involvement of body, mind and soul. Sound decision making requires you to listen at all levels of your being; so, it is helpful to cultivate a healthy awareness of what makes you tick.

Each of these levels communicates with you in different ways. Take time for meditation or contemplation. It will help you stay centered and connected to your inner being.

Once you have made a decision, stay flexible and embrace ambiguity. As additional information surfaces, you may want to adapt to it. Remember, change is usually a messy process. Flexibility makes it easier to release unrealistic expectations so you can optimize your decisions.

 

Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist and life coach who helps people live their best lives. 602-283-4628 or www.AdaPorat.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 2, April/May 2012.

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