Every day we are faced with choice; what to wear, what to eat, who to lunch with, when to work out. We have practiced making choices our entire lives. Nothing else we do requires such constant effort with such varying results. Sometimes choices are simple, sometimes they aren't. What is the difference and how can you make every decision with as much ease as possible?
Tools for making any Decisions
HEART - Your choice must fit in with your most positive emotions and avoid negative ones.EGO - Your decision must match who you are as a person.HEAD - Your decision must accord with your long-term goals.SURROUNDINGS - Your decision must be compatible with the situation you find yourself in.
When 1 or more of the tools are at odds, then what?
Every gut instinct comes with a physical sensation. Our challenge is correctly interpreting the sensation; knowing whether that butterfly in your stomach is telling you to back off from something truly scary or telling you that something exciting is about to happen.Good decisions feel expansive and optimistic. They're not based in fear, anger, or greed.Successful choicemaking depends much more on who you are than what you do so if your decision is compromising who you are it's ultimately not going to be the right choice. This can become a challenge is when someone else is involved.What can you do when your decision involves others whose opinion is different or even opposing?And when that difference comes down to a core belief belief about love self-worth safety and feeling a whole conflict resolution can become difficult.If one partner is prioritizing money where another is prioritizing lifestyle or one person needs adventure where another prefers stability, who gets their way?
Listen, list make, leave it
LISTENHave a conversation when you have plenty of time in a place that is free of distractions.
- Each partner takes a turn to explain why their choice is best for themselves. (E.g. I want to live in the suburbs because we can have a bigger house for less money and the schools are better.)
- Each partner takes a turn to explain why they think their choice is best for their partner. (E.g. Our mortgage would be smaller so you could work less overtime and we would be in the same place financially. You wOuld see the kids more)
- Each partner suggests a compromise. (We could live in a townhouse close to your office and get rid of one car or we could move midway between your work and the suburbs)
LIST MAKEMake a pro and con list together. Tally up your pluses and minuses.The rule- things can only make the list that you both agree on.Example- Choosing between public school and private school.
Private School Prossmall class sizecutting edge facilityuniformsstrong preparation for college
Private School Conscostnot in our neighborhood
Things That Get Left Off The Listfeels elitist (only to one partner)better sports teams (debatable by one partner)better University Counselling (debatable by one partner)
If you have the luxury of time, let your emotions settle for a few days. Allowing emotions to settle can help you to discuss your options with less of an emotional charge.
If after all the debate, you have to agree to disagree, setting up a system where one partner gets their way this time but that means the other partner automatically gets their way the next time can be an option.I choose to live in the country over the city but you get to choose our house.
A thought from Brene Brown...
When emotions flare, Brene advises her readers to ask what is the story I am telling myself.Write down what you imagine will happen if you don't get your way. Quite often this can help to uncover fear that is lurking below our rational thinking and hijacking our ability to see the other person's perspective.
If you just can't choose?
Flip a coin. At the moment right before it lands, you will wish for an outcome- that's what you truly want- so go for it!
I'd love to hear what choices you find most challenging. Comment below, email me or weigh in on my Facebook page.