Do you struggle when it comes to making hard decisions in your life?
Bill Gates once said, “Often you must rely on intuition.” I can understand why Gates said this. If you’re trying to make a hard decision too much information can paralyze your ability to make it. When there’s a mountain of never-ending data pouring in that can change quickly using your intuition to make the final call makes perfect sense. At some point you have to decide “to decide” and stop asking for more and more information, stop analyzing and stop reviewing the bottom line. You’ve got to pull the trigger and say, “Go!” And that’s exactly what a good decision-maker will do.
The elegance of intuition
Intuition is like a shortcut through the mountain so you don’t have to go all the way around it. And this is the elegance of intuition. By definition it’s defined as a grasping of the whole at once. When you have reached the point where more data and analysis confuses you that is the time to tap into your intuition and let it “sift” through all that data and spit out the answer. Often you already “know” what the right thing to do is but you ignore it and keep looking for more validation via information instead.
Becoming a great decision maker
A great decision maker will use reason and logic to consider all the information plus their sense of “inner knowing.” When their “inner knowing” concurs the decision will be made. An insecure decision maker will keep asking for more information because they never get that concurring sense of “inner knowing” or if they do, they don’t trust it. Their drive for more information and certainty will cause them to put off the decision and miss opportunities.
Greatness is having that inner knowing, trusting it, making a decision based upon it and then taking action on it without hesitating. This doesn’t mean that a great decision maker will never fail at one time or another but in general making decisions and taking action more often ensures you will make greater strides in your life toward achieving your goals. The ability to make decisions despite uncertainty is what separates the good from the great.
Stop chasing certainty
Nothing in life is 100 percent certain. Life is risky and anything can go wrong. The more comfortable you become with taking risks despite the uncertainty you feel the greater strides you’ll make and the more successful you’ll be. And the more you learn to tap into your intuition the better decision maker you’ll become.
“Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.” —John Naisbitt
Intuition is a sense that’s available to us, in addition to the five physical senses we normally use to navigate our lives. We can pump-up our intuition and learn to rely on it more if we choose to. We can listen to our heart, follow our excitement, heed our gut and be pulled by our passion. It just takes an intention to do so, focus and consistent practice; consistent practice being the key point. You can’t try to tune into your intuition one time and think, “It didn’t work for me,” just like you can’t lift a weight once at the gym and say that didn’t work to make you a buff god or goddess either.
The pesky little problem with intuition and decision making…
That said, there’s a problem I see with attuning to your intuition. The problem is that intuition is based on “feelings and trust.” Intuition calls for tuning into feelings of “inner knowing,” or “certainty.” Most people are so distracted that they have difficulty tuning into their “feelings” let alone trusting them! This is a definite problem when it comes to intuitive decision making.
And I know this because the top question I’ve received from readers over the seven years since I started Powered by Intuition has been, “How can I trust my intuition and know it’s not just wishful thinking?” Sometimes it’s pretty tricky to know the difference and you will make a wrong decision because of it. If you can discipline yourself to “go within” on a daily basis you can overcome the distractions and tune into your feelings more directly but the problem of feeling uncertain and not feeling confident enough to trust your intuition may still derail you. And then, there’s the lingering problem of attachment to the outcome. Many times the inaccuracy with your intuition comes from your attachment to the outcome. When you’re fixated on a particular outcome you can easily be misled.
Detachment is key
Intuition is much more accurate when you’re detached from the results. But that leads us to the next problem which is how to be detached from the results of your decisions? It’s much easier said than done especially when there’s a lot riding on the decision. If your decision is a life or death decision or can bankrupt you if you choose incorrectly you’re going to have a difficult time staying detached.
How to reconcile the dilemma of intuition and uncertainty in decision-making
The way to reconcile this dilemma is to verify your intuitive feelings, instincts and hunches with a process that ensures detachment from the outcome and validates the correct decision.
3 Step Verification Process to be certain your decisions are correct:
- Research the data about the problem you want to solve and review it. Do the research and analyze it and come to a decision. If you’re having trouble feeling certain about your decision choose the best logical option and move forward. The longer you delay making a decision the more chance you have of being “late to the party” and missing the window of opportunity. You’ve got to build your decision making muscle!
- Formulate your conclusion. Next, hand it off to your intuition to see if you get the “go” signal. You may feel the matter is “settled” or a have a calm certainty about it. If you still feel unsure and have the urge to ask other people for their opinion or constantly change your mind and vacillate between one decision or another the next step is a must for you.
- The last step is to use an intuitive verification process. The entire problem of not feeling sure of your intuitive feelings or whether you’re making the decision based on wishful thinking can be overcome with this process because the process itself ensures objectivity and detachment.
What is Intuitive Verification™?
Intuitive Verification™ is a process using the language of archetypes and symbolism to verify or disqualify the decision you’ve chosen before taking action upon it.
There is no better way to feel certain about a decision than to use the intuitive verification process because “seeing is believing.” This process works for any decision but it’s particularly well suited to major life decisions where there is a lot at stake. It’s best used for thoughtful decisions that are being made for the long term so, for this reason it’s a natural fit for entrepreneurs, business-owners and executives who need answers.
I’ve been using this process and it works extremely well to give you concrete answers that you can rely upon without second guessing yourself. With the practice of Intuitive Verification™ you’ll become more intuitive and a better decision-maker and it will also enhance your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Interested in learning more about the Intuitive Verification™ process?
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Your life is the result of your previous choices and decisions. Poor choices lead to bad decisions, which result in the mistakes we look back on and regret. The way to avoid making mistakes is to become a better decision maker.
But, how do you learn to apply proper decision making using both reason and intuition to your own life, to the little decisions and big decisions that ultimately shape your life? I was never taught this and the first half of my life was fraught with mistakes. Through trial and error and study I have learned how to handle challenging decisions. And, you can too.
The anatomy of a difficult decision
Say, you’re offered a job and it sounds great but, there’s a tiny niggling of doubt that holds you back from saying yes. You’re under pressure to give your decision – what do you do? Or perhaps you’re in a quandary over choosing the right life partner, business partner or whether to sell your home and move across country? How do you make these difficult decisions that affect the rest of your life?
Whatever the decision, there is a way to cut the stress, decipher the doubt and unearth the decision that is right for you using both reason and intuition in this intuitive decision making model.
You won’t make a proper decision unless you examine what makes you tick. Each of us is different and has a unique set of values and needs that our decisions must satisfy.
What are your values?
What’s important to you? What do you need to be happy? Is financial security the most important thing to you? Is climbing the corporate ladder and increasing your status an important factor in your overall happiness? Are you motivated by fame and celebrity? Or, is it love and emotional intimacy? Do you need freedom and the call of adventure to be happy? Maybe spiritual growth tops your list?
What vision for your life do you aspire to?
Each of us has a “vision” for our lives. My vision is to write, publish and teach people how to “speak intuition” so that they make the right decisions and live up to their full potential. Anything I do has to work toward upholding this overarching vision for my life.
What’s your vision? Craft one sentence that encompasses your life’s vision.
Understanding your values and vision puts your decisions in context within this framework so, don’t skip this step. Your values and vision drive your decision-making and the trajectory your life takes. They should be the structure on which your life is built – in the same way that the skeleton is the framework to the body.
Follow these steps to come to a proper decision using reason & intuition:
1. Review whether the choice aligns with your values. Does it uphold them? If yes, fine. If not, go over your values. Did you choose the right values to begin with or are you making the wrong choice for the wrong reasons?
2. Ask yourself if this choice advances you in the direction of your vision? Or, does it take you away from it? If yes fine. If not, then why are you do it? Think hard about this.
3. Review the facts. What do you know? What don’t you know? Whom do you know with experience in this area? Can you speak to them about their experience? Would researching this issue reveal useful information that would help you to make a choice? Do your research.
4. Make a Pros and Cons list regarding this choice. Which is most convincing the pros or the cons list?
Decide if these four steps are enough to make the decision. If you feel completely confident and free of doubt go ahead and make your decision If not, go to the next steps where you will tap into your intuition.
5. “Live” both options. Imagine for a moment that you could fast forward to the future and review the outcome of your decision between two choices or, to either follow through with a particular decision or not.
Close your eyes and imagine that you see before you two doors; one has a sign with a large number “one” on it and the other a number “two” on it. Assign a choice to each door. Walk through door number one and imagine that you had taken that road.
Go through the entire sequence of events in your mind from start to finish. You chose this path, and then what? And, what comes after that and after that? And, how does it end up? What does your life look like after you’ve chosen “door number one.”
Do the same with the second door. Step through the door and “live” out that decision in your imagination to it’s conclusion.
Which outcome affects your life most positively? Which outcome stands out most to you and “feels” right?
Still not sure about your decision? Go to Step 5.
5. Detach emotionally from the decision. Look from outside your own perspective. Ask yourself this, “If this weren’t my decision but, a close friend’s what would I tell them to do? How would I advise them? Does it benefit them? How?”
Have a convincing imaginary conversation with your friend and clearly explain why or why they shouldn’t make this decision.
Can you make a decision now? No? Proceed to the next step.
6. Check directly with your gut instinct – emotional intelligence – intuition.
Review the advice you gave your “friend” and all the reasons for making or not making this choice.
Close your eyes and take five deep breaths through the nose and release through the mouth to clear your mind.
Ask yourself how you “feel” about this decision? Do not ask yourself if you are making the right decision.
What is the first thought, feeling, image or emotion that comes to your awareness?
Focus upon it. Ask “it” why it has surfaced at this time? What is the first response that comes to mind after this question? This response is the “truth” of how you feel regardless of all the facts, lists and pros and cons.
Does this process reveal that your feelings about the decision are congruent to the decision you made by using reason and data? If your feelings correspond with the decision you made previously then great – you’ve done it! You’ve made a proper decision using logic and reason followed up by your gut instinct – emotional intelligence – intuition.
If you there is discord between the two then, you need to investigate the feeling that is at odds with your logical decision further. Go to the next step.
7. Delve deeper within.
Place your palms on your abdomen in the area of your solar plexus. The reason for placing your hands on your solar plexus is to remind you to connect with the intelligence of your body. Your body gives signals via feelings that communicate vital information to you. Most of you are too busy to notice them. This is why you need to slow down and go within in order to decode this important information.
Close your eyes and relax by taking five more deep breaths in through the nose and releasing them through the mouth.
Now visualize the outcome of the first decision and then the second just as you did when you stepped through each door. This time you are going to focus on what physical sensations, feelings or emotions come up regarding each of the outcomes.
Pay attention to your breathing, is it constricted with either choice? Does your chest feel tight when you go to take a breath? Become aware of your neck and shoulders, do either of the decisions make you tense up in those areas of your body? Notice your abdomen and the area around your solar plexus, is there a “knot” in your stomach or butterflies? Do you feel nervous, anxious, are your palms sweating, does your heart speed up or is there a lump in your throat?
If you notice any discomfort regarding one choice over the other, your body is telling you that this is not the right choice.
Do you have your answer now? Not yet? Go to step eight.
8. Make sure you thoroughly understand your motivation and what you’re getting into.
If you’ve come through the process this far without an answer it’s time to step away and put it on a shelf for a while. Don’t rush and never allow pressure from outside sources to influence you into making a decision before you are ready. Tell yourself that you want more clarity on this issue and that you expect to get it in X number of days (give yourself a time period).
Don’t make a decision and don’t think about it after that, live your life and focus on other things. Just because you’re not consciously thinking about this decision doesn’t mean it isn’t “percolating” in your subconscious. You may have a dream during this period or an insight will surface that clarifies the issue. You may come to the conclusion that this decision is unnecessary and drop the whole thing.
Have you ever found yourself struggling to make an important decision? What was the situation you were grappling with? What techniques did you use to help you make the decision?
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P.S. Learn to “speak intuition.” Click here.
Why Can’t You Hear Your Intuition?
Why can’t you hear your inner voice, AKA your Intuition?
I get a lot of email from subscribers asking me why they can’t hear their intuition loud and clear.
So today I’m opening up the PbI mailbag once again to address this frequently asked question.
5 Reasons Why You Can’t Hear Your Intuition
1. The first thing you need to understand about Intuition is that it’s quite subtle especially when you first begin to work with it. It presents itself in very “ordinary” ways that can easily be overlooked.
2. You have the power to turn up the volume of your intuition and to mute it as well. You are always in control….even when you feel as if you’re not getting the answers you desire. Most likely you’re getting the intuitive information you’ve asked for but, you’re suppressing this information. More on this below in #4.
3. Developing intuition is like any other thing we set out to accomplish in our lives; our intention is key. You must create the intention of hearing and then following your intuition in your life if you wish to hear it loud and clear.
4. Another factor you need to understand about your Intuition is that when you’re attached to the outcome you will unconsciously suppress this information from your mind if it conflicts with the outcome your desire.
5. The last thing on this list you must absolutely understand is this: Human Beings can rationalize and justify almost anything if there is a reason to do so! Read the following two examples and this will become very clear.
Say you suffer from symptoms such as occasional dizziness, blurred vision, brain fog, motor skills issues and and neck and back pain. You go from doctor to doctor but none find anything seriously wrong. You are prescribed muscle relaxants for your back and neck pain but the symptoms persist. Your family is tired of hearing your complaints and are starting to believe most of it is in “your head.”
You decide the doctors must be right, that it must be all in your head and take your meds and go about your life.
As the symptoms persist you can’t shake the feeling in your gut that something is wrong. You rationalize it away though by thinking that it’s just fear talking and not a real health issue.
Months later you have a seizure and an MRI reveals a serious problem in the brain.
Your immediate reaction is, “I knew something wasn’t right!”
You realize that you let yourself override your intuition because you rationalized that you couldn’t possibly know more than the medical establishment.
You meet a new love interest and start living together. You get along well and enjoy a really nice lifestyle together. You love to travel together and enjoy many of the same interests.
This person is head over heels in love with you but you don’t feel the same although you care for them a great deal. Eventually, they start talking marriage. Your friends and family tell you that this person is really great and how lucky you are to have found each other. They point out all the good qualities the person has and you can’t disagree either….they are a really exceptional person.
The problem is that you can’t make up your mind what to do. You get stuck in an endless loop of considering how “lucky” you are to have this person in your life and how wonderful all your friends and family say this person is. Yet something holds you back from jumping into the marriage.
You finally say yes and get married. Two years later the marriage is over.
You now realize the reason you held back from jumping into the marriage was because you were never in love with your partner in the first place. This person “checked off” all the boxes on your ideal mate list except the one about being in love! You settled and talked yourself into it.
How to Begin Hearing Your Inner Voice, AKA Intuition:
1. Journal. It’s easy to get in touch with your feelings when you journal. I wrote about this extensively in my book, “The Intuition Principle.” Journaling is a safe place to reveal your true feelings. Writing will also help you organize your thoughts and sort out what you believe over what society has imposed upon you. A good way to get to the bottom of your own feelings is to write out the question you want an answer to at the top of the page then just start writing without censoring yourself. When you feel that sense of completion – stop. Go back to read what you’ve written and you will be amazed at the wisdom that has poured out of you.
2. Meditate. When you make the time to get quiet every day your intuition will get louder and clearer. The busyness of every day life is distracting. You must create an empty space in the mind where your intuition can come through. Find a quiet and private place where you can close your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes without being disturbed. Focus your attention on counting your breaths until you reach the number 50. At the 50th breath notice how you feel. Your thoughts should have slowed down. You should feel alert yet relaxed. Try to remain in that state. If your mind begins to race go back to counting the next 5o breaths. These relaxed moments where your thinking has slowed down is where your intuition will begin to come through. Ask a question you’d like guidance on then sit quietly and listen.
3. Take back your power. Realize that if a feeling or thought persists it persists for a reason. If you feel in your gut that you’re not okay with the diagnosis from your doctor get another opinion. If you hesitate to make a decision even if everyone you know says it’s right, there is a reason. Don’t go along with the what other people think if you have a nagging thought or feeling that you should do something different. The truth is we’re raised to listen to authority figures but that doesn’t mean they’ll be right every time.
Where have you overridden your intuition in your life? How did it turn out? What will you do differently from now on?
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P.S. Learn to clearly hear your intuition: Click Here.
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Fear is sneaky and has many disguises.
It’s important to recognize the ways fear disguises itself because it can and will sabotage your dreams if you let it.
Take Intuitively Inspired Action
One of the principles I often write about on Powered by Intuition is that of “intuitively inspired action.” Intuitively inspired action is when you act upon a gut feeling or intuitive knowing. The ‘nudge’ to follow a particular path comes from inside as a ‘pull’ you feel toward some choice or decision. This is “intuitively inspired” meaning it comes from our higher knowing, higher self, soul or what we call “intuition.”
When you follow the guidance of your intuition you are led to the choices and decisions that will bring you the greatest success. The pull you get about taking this action come to your awareness because you are ready to take this path. If it were not meant for you there would be no pull toward actually doing it.
This “pull” toward a particular path is how we are directed and guided in life by our higher knowing. To ignore this guidance is like driving by 100 gas stations when you’re lost and never stopping to ask for directions.
The moment you honor the “pull” and take “intuitively inspired action” you course correct and end up on the right road for you.
Fear Sabotages Your Dreams
Fear makes you a hostage to the status quo. It holds you back from taking intuitively inspired action or from carrying it out. It keeps you stuck in your comfort zone where nothing changes. When you are driven by fear you have all kinds of excuses about why you can’t do what you planned to do so you never achieve your dreams of doing great things. You must learn to recognize fear in all its disguises so your dreams won’t slip through your fingers.
The 5 Top Ways Fear Sneaks in to Sabotage Your Dreams
1. Avoidance. Do you avoid doing the things you need to make your dream a reality? Do you send for information but then never read it? Do you sign up for things but never respond when it’s time to confirm? When you keep avoiding what needs to get done opportunities diminish and doors close. Eventually you rationalize that you’ve lost interest in your dream. Avoidance is a disguise for fear of failing.
2. Procrastination. Do you procrastinate? Are you indecisive? Do you put things off and drag out what needs to get done until it’s too late? Miss deadlines? This sabotaging behavior is a disguise for fear of failing too. If you never finish technically you’ll never fail, right? It’s a pretty sneaky way of sabotaging your dream.
3. Overwhelm. Do you take on too much? When you dive headlong into things without mapping out the steps you feel overwhelmed. If this is a pattern in your life you fear there is never enough time. You feel you have to do it ALL right now! When you’re in overwhelm you shut down and nothing gets done. This is a disguise for both fear of failing and fear of success. Either way, getting overwhelmed and shutting down ensures you’ll never fail or succeed.
4. Confusion. Do you find the tasks you need to accomplish confusing? Are you unsure about what outcome you’re working toward? Confusion arises when you don’t have a well thought out plan and jump into things with a half-baked idea. This is a disguise for fear of failing by being left out or left behind by your peer group. It means you constantly compare yourself to others and allow fear to push you into things simply because you see others doing it. Fear of being left out sabotages success simply because you’re not going after a dream because it’s your true desire….you’re going after it because you feel you have to “keep up.”
5. Excuses. Do you make excuses about why you can’t do something? Is the timing wrong? Do you cancel appointments? Are you too busy? Does everything always “cost too much?” Do need to do more research and have more information first? Do you talk yourself out of it saying things like, “Well, it’s probably not all it’s cracked up to be?” Making excuses is a disguise for fear of failing too. Excuses hold you back from starting. When you never start you can never fail.
Do you recognize any of these behaviors? What sneaky way is fear keeping you from getting to your dream?
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P.S. Learn how to take intuitively inspired action in your life! Click here.