How do I know that the decision I am making right now is the right decision? What guarantee do I have that I won’t regret it? Am I doing the right thing? Questions like this are like a loyal companion in our life. Too often we are trying to make a decision only from our head. Listening to what our logic is telling us. Making a decision is a constant see-saw act between our mind and heart.
Too often we decide only on what we can see and overlook what we feel. Our gut feeling, intuition, inner knowing – as many might call it. This inner knowing always wants us to experience things that help us to grow. There is no good or bad decision.
There is only A decision that we make based on what we know at the time.
As we progress on our journey we might regret it and want to make it right, or we are happy with the choice we made. Either way, accept where you are at the moment. Review your progress and adjust your action if necessary. It is never too late. Put your ego on the side and do the right thing.
Our internal guidance system always wants to steer us toward our path. We all have it and we know how to use it. All it takes, it’s a little practice. It is like a muscle and just like with any muscle in your body, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
Ever since I remember my inner voice always talked to me. I was just not certain enough listening to it and went with the logical choices, most of the time (until not long ago).
The very first time when I could really feel that I am going against my instinct was when I applied to university. I sent my application to two very well-know universities in my country. But the entrance exams (it was a different school system from the UK one) were on the same day.
So I had to choose which exam I am going to sit. Business studies or English and French language and literature. My heart was telling me to go with the latter one. But my mind found the Business studies more appealing.
And the result? I had a gap year that helped me to clear my mind and ended up studying English and Hungarian literature. (Though French has remained ‘the one that got away’ 🙂 )
When we are faced with a decision, we contemplate the pros and cons. Just what I was doing when deciding on what to study. Our brain does an amazing job of listing all the reasons why we should do one thing or another. Maxwell Maltz in Psycho-Cybernetics compares the human brain to a machine that works purposefully to accomplish goals of the individual. So, if you ask yourself a question your brain will do what it can to come up with a solution.
However, our brain tends to see things through our past experience. Fear from the unknown can freeze us. How to overcome this obstacle? We, humans, are amazing creatures. We are able to imagine what we would like to experience. However, visualisation isn’t enough. It isn’t enough just to see what we want to experience. We have to feel it.
The brain doesn’t know whether the feeling of what we desire is occurring because we already have it or we are just imagining it. It takes a little bit of time and practice, but it is possible to trick our brain this way.
Things that make a massive change in our lives aren’t visible immediately. Instant gratification is a mirage that feeds our ego.
Image by Apex Legends
But is it always our mind that we need to listen to? I don’t believe so.
Our mind is great to help us moving forward towards our goals. However, it isn’t only our mind that counts.
What about our gut feeling? How many times we had a feeling about something and we went with what we thought is the right thing to do, only to be proven wrong further down the line. ‘Oh, how I wish I had gone with my instinct, rather than my logic?’ Does this sound familiar? It definitely does to me.
We all have this gut feeling, inner knowing, instinct. All what it takes for us is to trust it. Yeah, it is scary as we are challenging our good old ways of thinking and making decisions.
We can start with baby steps to get this ‘muscle’ into shape. 😉
Maybe next time your phone rings, before answering it take a deep breath and see whether you can sense who the caller is. If you are correct remember the sensation you had in your body just before answering the phone. If you didn’t have the right answer, that’s ok. Don’t be too harsh with yourself. Have a playful approach. 🙂
For the past few years I have been paying more and more attention to my inner voice when making decisions, big or small. Thanks to these I have become a coach, an NLP practitioner and my latest addition is Bert Hellinger’s Systemic Constellations (to help people to see the different systems they are parts of and how this system influences them). I have met wonderful people from whom I learned a lot, made friendships that really cherished my life and also helped me through some of the toughest periods I encountered. Experienced the power of vulnerability and unconditional love. It hasn’t been all ‘rainbows and unicorns’ but these experiences helped me and shaped me to become the best version of myself, and they still do.
Many times you can’t see the whole picture in front of you. You are part of something bigger and how you see yourself influences your actions and how you proceed. Trust your instinct that you are here for a purpose. No matter what the purpose is. What matters that you allow yourself to do what you love doing. You can be the best versions of yourself as a loving father, mother, partner, or gardener, or public speaker, or teacher. The choice is yours.
Remember it is about the journey and not the destination.
Life isn’t meant to be hard, only as hard as we make it. Sometimes we have to put on a different perspective to look at the world around us. And by making different choices we will have different results. As Albert Einstein said it:
‘We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.’
Trust your gut feeling. There is a hidden path that you can’t see yet. You don’t see it but you can feel it. Just as Indian Jones trusted his gut about the invisible bridge. The bridge became visible as soon as his beliefs were strong enough to make him do the first steps.
Your belief and trust in the not visible yet will enlighten the path for your eyes.
Yeah, it can be scary but only until you make the first step. Believe in yourself and the answers will be revealed to you.
How to listen to our inner voice:
- Quiet your mind – have a practice that helps you to just observe your thoughts without judgement – meditation, long walks in nature…
- When there is a thought, notice whether it comes from your mind or from your heart
- Be in balance and instead of isolating your feelings from your thoughts, get them to work together. They are both part of us.
- If you regret a decision don’t beat yourself up about it. You made the best decision you could with the resources you had at the time. But if you need to revisit this decision – do it. Don’t be afraid of facing your past.
Written by Petra J.