Some of the common questions I get from clients are about making decisions. They want to know if they should quit their jobs, leave their husbands, or move to a new city. My direction for them is to clean up their thinking around the issue and then make the decision from a "clean" place.
There are a few indicators that will let you know if you still have work to do. The first is if you find yourself in a big hurry to make a decision one way or the other. This is really just a desire to get out of pain fast. This means you have more thought work to do. The second indicator is if you are blaming any circumstance for how you are feeling and the decision involves changing the circumstance. This is a set up. Remember thoughts change how you feel, not circumstances.
Let me give you an example of this in my own life.
A few days ago an acquaintance asked me to join her for a girls night out. I told her I would love to join her before really thinking it through. I was trying to decide if I wanted to go. I found myself kind of dreading it. Now, this is where it gets interesting. I knew I could change my thoughts and feel good about going…but I could also change my thoughts and feel good about not going. So which should I choose?
I didn't know, so I called another coach to help me. I told her that I felt kinda funny about realizing that no matter what I did, I could feel good about it. I saw that it applied to larger decisions in my life as well. I could pretty much feel good by changing my thoughts about anything. This is a fantastic skill and I love having it-but knowing this-how do I know what decision to make?
My coach said, "It doesn't matter what decision you make."
I said, "Then how do I know if I am living an authentic life? I think we are missing something here. I think it feels like we are almost manipulating our brains to like anything we are doing."
She said, "That is an authentic life. Being happy is as authentic as you can get."
I hung up the phone only half believing her. I sat in my chair for a long time and thought about it. Here's what came to me: Every decision that has been an important milestone in the direction of my purpose has been crystal clear once I was "clean." On the decisions where I could go either way, she was right, it didn't really matter in the big scheme. What did matter is that I make the decision to be happy either way by doing my thought work.
This was a deeper level of understanding than I have had before. It felt amazingly freeing to me. It didn't matter if I went out with the girls or stayed home. Either way, I would be happy and feel good. So I decided to go out. I chose thoughts that got me excited about it and I had a great time! I met some new women, heard their stories and had some great laughs. But, I would have had an equally fun time staying at home with a great book.
My new mantra is: Once your clean, it doesn't matter what you decide to do. What matters is what you think about what you decide to do.