Many of us often make big decisions at the start of a New Year. In the UK, for example, January 5th (the first working day after Christmas) was dubbed “divorce day” because it’s the busiest time of year for family lawyers as warring couples decide enough is enough. Some of us may commit to something less dramatic yet equally life-changing like finally sticking two fingers up at the job we’ve hated for years while others might decide it really is time to get fit and healthy.
Whether it’s the New Year or not, we all have to make big decisions in life and often we can find them tough to make because our heads get filled up with far too many things to consider, or our emotions get the better of us, or there’s that little voice inside that keeps saying: hmm, not really sure about that, are you? If this sounds like you in any way, read on to find out how you can encourage all those different parts to work together for you in decision-making. You can then feel more confident (and congruent) that you’re making better decisions that you won’t end up regretting.
I don’t know about you but I’ve always been able to detect a pattern in the decisions I’ve come to regret and for me a lot of those decisions were job related. I’d spend shed loads of time weighing up the pros and cons of a new job in my head and sometimes even jot them down on paper. I’d ask friends and family for their opinion and go through the same process of weighing up the pros and cons. I’d focus on how great I’d feel handing in my notice and leaving all the stress and frustrations of my current job behind. I’d feel good about the new challenges I’d be facing. I’d big up all the pros. And…..I’d choose to ignore the feeling in my gut that kept saying: I don’t know what it is, but something doesn’t quite feel right here.
Like many of us, I’d come to rely on my head more than my heart and gut so when it came to decision-making I always chose to place more importance on what my head thought was the right thing to do.
As a result, six months or a year later – you’ve guessed it – I’d be fed up with the job, banging my head against the wall and asking: why the hell didn’t I listen to my gut? It was right all along but I didn’t bloody listen!! Having learnt (the hard way) from similar situations, I’m glad to say I no longer ignore my gut, nor my heart for that matter.
When our different ‘centres’ (head, heart and gut) aren’t in tune/aligned with one another, trouble can brew big time. Not only do we end up feeling as if there’s an internal battle going on, but we can literally end up sabotaging ourselves because the part or parts we’ve chosen to ignore are trying to get our attention and prove they were right all along.
So in future, how can you make sure your centres are aligned so you can make decisions you feel more confident and congruent about? Read on to find out.
Whenever we need to make a big decision or change in our lives, it’s often a good idea to actively check in with head, heart and gut. You can do this by working your way through a checklist.
- Think of a goal you’d like to achieve (your decision will generally be based around this goal).
- For each statement below, check in with head, heart and gut and rate how strongly each centre feels in relation to the statement. Consider 1 as lowest and 5 as strongest.
My goal is important to me and I want to reach it. (How does head feel about this statement? How does heart feel? How does gut feel?)
It’s possible to reach my goal. (How does head feel about this statement? How does heart feel? How does gut feel?)
I’m capable of reaching my goal. (How does head feel about this statement? How does heart feel? How does gut feel?)
I deserve to reach my goal. (How does head feel about this statement? How does heart feel? How does gut feel?)
- If you’ve scored 5 on every centre for each statement, go forward and conquer! Your centres are fully in tune with one another and you’re congruent about reaching your goal. A lot of the time, however, you’ll find you’ll have scored one centre higher than the others. If this is the case, hone in on the centre or centres that have scored low and ask yourself: what else would my head/heart/gut need to know, add to my goal, or believe in to be more congruent or confident? What can I do to make this possible?
By actively checking in with head, heart and gut the moment we’re about to make a crucial decision, we’re a) acknowledging our different centres or parts b) giving equal ‘air-space’ to each of them and c) taking note early on whether there’s any ‘dissonance’ so we can do something about it and make better, more aligned decisions.
So if you’re about to make a big decision, why not try checking in with head, heart and gut to see what difference it can make? I’d love to hear how you get on so please do let me know by leaving a comment below.
Jackie Mendoza is a change coach working with people who want to rebuild their lives when a relationship changes or ends. You can find out more and access free resources here: www.jackiemendoza.com