iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

GET UPDATES FROM Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
 

Do You Have Trouble Making Decisions?

Posted: 11/01/11 05:48 PM ET

Does fear of making a mistake immobilize you in your decision-making process?

Do you ever have trouble making decisions? Which carpet to buy for your floor. Which sofa to choose. What to wear that day. What you feel like doing on your days off. What kind of work you really want to do.

Making decisions can be difficult, but we make it especially hard when we try to decide from our mind, rather than from our inner experience. The arrogant mind often thinks it can figure out the "right" answer.

I had a session recently with Barbara, who works as a paralegal. She and her husband recently redecorated their home and she was quite upset with the result. "I messed up on every decision I made. Not one thing came out right. How could I mess up 100 percent of the time? I have a few more things to get and I'm afraid to make any decisions."

I asked her where she made her decisions from -- her mind or her inner experience. She had no idea what I meant by making decisions from her inner experience.

"Well," I told her, "when I have a decision to make, like which tile to pick for the floor, I open myself to my deeper experience. I feel how it feels to be with this color, this texture. My feelings generally let me know what is right or wrong for me. Since there is never just one right answer, I need to go by what feels good to me. My mind has no idea about what brings me joy, what feels fulfilling to me, what is esthetically pleasing, what feels peaceful. My mind is too filled with what I've learned to know what is right for me.

"I tune into my body and feel my inner experience. If I feel calm, peaceful, joyous, with a sense of rightness, I know I am on the right track. If I feel any agitation or sense of unrest, I know I'm on the wrong track. By staying tuned in to my feelings, I find I can make the decisions that are right for me quickly and easily."

For me, making decisions is a creative process. My mind doesn't know anything about creativity. My mind is logical, rational and thinks it can logically decide on what is right or best. Yet those who are involved in a creative process, such as writing, music or painting, know that they have to open to their experience. They have to open to spirit and allow the truth and creativity of spirit to be expressed through them. Spirit may speak to them through their inner experience, their feelings, and through thoughts and images that pop into their mind. Making the right decision for you -- about anything -- is the same process.

People often get stuck in not knowing what their life purpose is -- what work would bring them joy. Too often, they try to make this decision from their mind, rather than tuning into their feelings and experiencing what would bring them joy. When you learn to be mindful of your feelings, you will discover the things that truly bring you joy. True work is that which is fulfilling and brings you joy. How can you know what this is when you are trying to figure it out with your mind? Fulfillment and joy are not thoughts -- they are inner experiences that we feel when we are on the right track. When we feel fulfillment, peace and joy, we know that spirit is with us, guiding us in our highest good.

 
 
 

Follow Margaret Paul, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/innerbonding