I have some decisions to make. How to make them? What questions do you ask yourself before you make decisions? I bet it depends on the decision you are trying to make. If you are trying to dress for a dinner out perhaps you call someone else who is going to ask that girlfriend question “What are you wearing?”. If you are deciding whether or not to take a new job and quit the old one a close friend or spouse might be the first call, to get their take on it. I seem to have several decisions to make that are of the ‘quit that job take a new one’ variety. What I’ve run into that is mucking up my ability to answer is my ego.
Now, I’m not here to ego bash. That would be senseless. We all have one and we need it to get around like we need our legs and arms, but honestly, it isn’t a reliable source for life decisions. If my ego is flattered, it is likely to say ‘yes’. I didn’t think flattery was a value I held, but my ego certainly likes the feel of offers that imply the Sally Field classic “you like me, you really like me”. This is no way to make a decision. Here is what I know, later you will like me less when I can’t live up to the commitment that I shouldn’t have said Yes to. But our ego’s are really all about the hot air that is inflating their balloon at the moment.
So how will I make my decisions? This is what I know about how to make a decision, in no particular order:
Gather evidence. Go on a fact finding mission. I said fact. No emotional journey, just the facts ma’am. Take a big step backwards and do some digging. Ask others what their experience has been with this topic(not what they would do-you just unleash their own blanket of insecurities usually with that question)
Consult yourself in different hats. Ask your inner five year old how they feel about running for local council or whatever it is.
Ask yourself 20 years from now as you sit on the porch together. Don’t ask your parents/partner/sibling, but imagine the conversation you would have and get their ‘imaginary’ opinion (probably frighteningly accurate)
Take a day and pretend you said ‘yes’ and see how it feels and what changes. Take a different day and pretend you said ‘no’ and see what that feels like.
I know I can never know the ‘right‘ answer because there is no ‘right’ answer. There is just right now. At the end of a day very soon I will sit down for five minutes and just breathe, so I can quiet the minds chatter. Then I will drop inside of myself and ask my question and wait for my answer. I know that whatever I decide, it will be the right answer for right now. If I can’t trust myself, who can I trust?