by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
Life does not come with a road map or instructions. Obviously, early on in life, decisions are made for us. But at some point, we begin making decisions that will impact every aspect of our life, both personally and professionally. All decisions impact one’s life, but some much more so than others. Here are some tips to consider when faced with saying “yay” or “nay” on choices that have major life-altering outcomes.
1) INTELLECT: When you use your intellect, you are tapping into your ability to reason and understand a matter or situation objectively. It is an aspect of decision making that is based on rational thought versus emotional feelings. This is important to determine if a decision is logical, practical, possible, or probable. It is also an attribute to use to consider not just an outcome, but a logical and rational impact of that outcome.
For example, you may want a specific position or career opportunity. The position is what you want (outcome) but it may require longer hours or moving far away to a corporate headquarter location (impact on current lifestyle or residence preference).
So use your intellect to assess not just a possible outcome, but how it will impact your life overall and determine if that is acceptable.
2) EXPERIENCE: Your past experience with a similar situation or circumstance, or experience with a particular person should also be considered when making major decisions. When you consider previous outcomes from decisions you made, this can be a substantial guide to either reinforce a decision or send a red flag of alert. In addition to your own experience, asking for advice from a mentor or other person who’s advice you respect, who has navigated this type of situation or dealt with a particular person, is another great way to make better choices.
For example, suppose you were accepted for a new position with a new company, and you won’t have any unwanted change to your lifestyle or have to move far away. However, when you find out that one of your superiors is someone with whom you’ve worked in the past and your experience of their management style is such that you know conflict will arise, you may reconsider accepting their offer.
So use your experience of situations, circumstances, and with people that are involved in any major decision making you will undertake.
3) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Emotional intelligence is your unique level of ability to assess your own emotions and the emotions of others. When used as part of a decision making process, it guides your thinking and behavior and/or what you perceive others’ thinking or behavior may be. Questions to ask yourself at this point are “does this choice FEEL like a good fit when all parameters are considered?” That is, will you FEEL IN ALIGNMENT or IN CONFLICT with this choice?
For example, you accept the new position because you don’t foresee any negative lifestyle changes, and have nothing proven to be an issue with the company or their management. However, when on the interview, you perceived lack of enthusiasm and lack of feeling appreciated by the employees just by their facial expressions or in conversations overheard.
Therefore, don’t discount your emotional intelligence as a good gauge for important decisions that will have substantial impact on your life.
4) INTUITION: Intuition is an instinctive ability to understand or sense something almost immediately without feeling the NEED FOR REASONING OR PROOF. The decision might involve risk or defy logic, experience, and what you strongly feel would be best for you at this point in time. It is a superconscious / higher conscious knowing, a spiritual wisdom, which supersedes reason and proof. You may even get a true physical reaction in your gut, a knot or tensing if the decision should be no, or a calm feeling in your center if the decision should be yes.
For example, accepting a new position would completely disrupt your lifestyle and location, you aren’t comfortable with the management team or style, and employees don’t look happy, satisfied, or fulfilled, yet you take a risk and go for it.
Somewhere in your higher consciousness you just KNOW that this situation is what is needed for whatever good is to next come into your life.
Each of these points bears weight in the decision making processes, whether they be for professional decisions or for personal decisions. By accessing each of these tips, every time you make choices, and you monitor your outcomes, good or bad, this helps to make each subsequent major decision a little less stressful when you learn to trust your decision making skills by the results you have manifested.
If all else fails, toss a coin, and if it’s heads, say yes, and if it’s tails, say no.
Wishing you health, wise choices, and living your best life.