Did you know that between you and I, we’re making about a thousand decisions in a day? Yes. THAT MANY. Now most of them are borderline subconscious, but not all of them.
Some don’t really matter: PB—crunchy or smooth? Always go smooth on the apple.
Some matter more: Do I try and explain myself or just stay quiet and listen? Do I go to the thing they invited me to?
And there’s at least one that’s going to matter massively: Do I take a stand and say this isn’t right? Do I negotiate that thing they just offered me? Do I speak my ideas and plan? Do I continue this relationship like this? Do I stay here or do I take the plunge?
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. The thing about your life, though, is that it’s made up entirely of all these tiny decisions. All of the medium decisions. And all of the big decisions. We put a lot of emphasis on the big ones, of course, because they feel just that: big. massive. risky. crazy. woah. All of the things. All of the big.
So, how do you know what to do?
Well, you’ve got to strip all the bullsh*t from the decision making. What qualifies as BS you ask? Here’s a list: what you should do. What your parents want you to do. What your family thinks would be good for you. What your friends have an opinion on. What society says is normal. What might look good. What might earn you likability. What might make you seem cool or important. What would look good on Instagram. What that Google said you should do. What your tarot reader said would work. What someone else wants you to do.
^^ That is the immediate list of decision-making bullshit. Now, we all make decisions out of these places. But they’re not the ones that are truly us. Sometimes, many times, they’re the decisions that get us into the most trouble. They’re the hardest to come back from. And they’re the ones that make us feel lost. Because they were decisions made for all the wrong reasons. I’ve done it too many times to count. I’ve decided I didn’t like a word and wouldn’t use it anymore because it made my boss’s skin crawl. I’ve said yes to commitments I really didn’t want to do because I didn’t want to disappoint a friend. I’ve kept big, loud opinions to myself and become a smaller version of myself because I thought it’d make the guy love me more. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
The good news is there are really simple ways to know you’re making a decision for the right reason. They require you to shut down what other people want from you, and they demand you to tune in.
Right reason #1: You want to.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to make a decision simply because you want to. We throw ourselves into the fire of so much judgement and so much approval that we fight and fight and fight the things we really want to do. The BS from above clouds your judgement so hard you actually don’t even know the difference between something you want and something someone else might want you to do.
Try this: Because someone wants you to isn’t a good enough reason to make a decision. Ask yourself if this decision you’re about to make is because of someone’s approval or validation. Then ask if this is truly something you want. When you take the time to pause and ask you’ll know the answer pretty quickly.
Right reason #2: It’s uncomfortable.
Something weird happens when a big decision is right. You get wildly uncomfortable. There’s this little twinge of excitement, but mainly there’s just I kind of want to throw up fear. Follow that. It’s your gut saying the idea of this scares the shit out of you. And being energized-scared is the pathway to major greatness
Try this: When you’re thinking of a big decision, take inventory of how it feels. What’s happening in your body? Fear might very well be there, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. More than anything, I wanna throw up but I’m still excited will exist in your bones and DING DING DING, whatever thought gives you that feeling. Do that.
Right reason #3: It feels gooooooood.
When did we stop letting things feel good? Sometime around starting crazy hustles. Working too hard. Being stupid busy. Feeling like we needed to push and push and push to get things to go right. Doing something because it feels really good is a sound enough reason.Live life with ease and pleasure and let yourself enjoy the things you want to enjoy. Quit a job because it feels good and right. Love someone because it feels good and right. Get a villa in Bali cuz it feels good and right. Don’t go out this weekend because it feels good and right. Let yourself feel good, will ya?
Try this: If you can’t figure out if a decision feels good or not, close your eyes and imagine yourself in the future having already made a decision one way. Do you feel good and expansive and free? If yes, then follow it. If no, then reconsider your decision.
You know which decision to make. Your heart knows. Your body knows. Your gut knows. They know which decision is for the right reason. Your mind? Not always so much.