Is it just me, or does it seem like life is presenting us with more situations than ever before where we’re needing to make decisions that have a huge impact on our life? One of the predominant issues that my clients raise in their coaching sessions is their perceived inability to choose between opposing preferences.
They can’t make their mind up. And that’s understandable when the choice is between staying in the safe job (security) and starting their own business (uncertainty); or between staying in their relationship (familiarity) and separation (unknown); or between immigrating (adventure) and staying close to family (stability); etc.
We become terribly stuck in our thinking when we get caught up between only one thing and another, thereby deleting all the other possibilities that might also be present. There is a way out of the dilemma of “this or that”. And it starts by becoming more aware of what’s pulling us in seemingly opposite directions. In NLP we refer to this as a values conflict. The good news is that we can learn to utilize the state (feeling) associated with a core value to inspire the decision that serves our best interest.
Before I show you how to make BIG decisions small, its worth bearing in mind that what stops us from always knowing what’s best to do in any situation, or from having the courage to follow through with the right choice, is usually our FEAR (Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real) of a negative or painful outcome. In relation to decision making, it’s only FEAR that limits our thinking. And FEAR is harmless, unless we believe it. You can transcend FEAR by broadening your perspective and connecting with your values. Then with the big picture in mind and good feeling in body, make the choice that’s in alignment with this.
Here’s how it works:
- Think about the decision that you want to make. Are you wanting to decide between 2 or more things? Bring each to mind.
- Now focus on one of the things. What is ultimately the most important reason for favouring this choice?
- Now focus on the other thing. What is ultimately the most important reason for favouring this choice? (Do the same for each thing that is part of your decision)
- Notice that both (all) your most important reasons for making each choice are the same or very similar. (If they’re not, then they’re not the ultimate reason for favouring that choice).
- In realizing that you are trying to fulfil the same value by favouring one or the other, now place your attention on that core value; whether it´s happiness, freedom, independence, love, etc.
- Connect with the feeling associated with your core value. To achieve this, you can remember a time when you were completely immersed in that state, and be in that experience as vividly as possible. Also change your body position to resemble that state.
- While in the state associated with your core value, imagine looking upon your life as a whole and seeing yourself now moving toward the future that is most in alignment with the fulfilment of this value in your life.
- With that direction in awareness and good feeling in your body, ask yourself: “What is the next smallest step I can take that leads toward my desired future?”
And there you have it…the choice that serves your best interest. Now all you have to do is take that small step and feel wonderful knowing that it’s the right one for you.
I have never experienced, nor have my clients ever reported that a decision driven by a core value has been the wrong one or caused harm to others. When your mind is Authentically Self Empowered, as it it will be when using the above process, then you are following your bliss, and you can rest assured that you’ll be leading the life that’s meant for you.
Written by Jevon Dangeli – NLP/Hypnotherapy Trainer & Coach