I’m not known for my ability to make decisions quickly. Those that know me might even argue I’m well-know for my lack of making decisions quickly.
But you know what? I can make decisions. I know what I want. It’s when I start overthinking or believing there’s a perfect answer that the entire process becomes overwhelming and I forget to actually listen to myself. To my gut. Because deep down, you do always know what you want. I used to think that was a myth, but it’s not. Just quiet your mind, and listen. It knows what it wants.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can’t quiet our mind. Our subconscious is busy throwing up all the things it thinks others might say or what other people have said previously that we should probably take into consideration when making this decision. What it thinks we think we should want, or what we might want later, or what we’ll do if each option doesn’t work out. What each choice says about ourself. What we think each choice means.
So it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The absolute trick is to stop listening to all that and just go with your gut. Unfortunately, especially if you’re out of practice, we’re not even aware all of that is turned on – so how are we meant to turn it all off?
There’s a certain frame of mind I can slip into (either purposefully or by accident, sometimes) that I like to call ‘The Kickass Mindset.’ So named because – as it suggests – when I’m in that state of mind, I feel kickass: I remember what an awesome human I am and everything I’m capable of, I’m not scared of the usual things that scare me, and I’m ready to go after everything I want. By consequence, it brings a state of clarity, in which I find making decisions very easy because I’m not being swayed by the “what if’s” or the fear or what might be expected of me, because I know what I want and I believe it’s all possible.
The Kickass Mindset (yes, I’m capitalising it) is all about having confidence in yourself, who you are and what you’re all about. In that frame of mind, I am an expert decision maker. But it’s not because I gain a new skill in decision making when I’m in that mindset, but because I stop listening to the doubts and the fears, and instead connect straight with my gut. I can hear it. Feel it. Know exactly what I want or need to do. I believe in myself.
I’m practicing calling on that mindset more and more (it’s not good to live with a kickass mindest alllllll of the time), but my point is, if you struggle to make decisions or listen to your gut, try clearing all the thoughts that come up when you try to make a decision. Forget what you think you should do or what you’re afraid of or what people might say. Just focus on who you are, what you want, and feel for that intuition. It’ll be there. And the more you practice, the easier this will be. If it’s a real struggle at first, try to remember or notice the very first choice you think of when given the decision (even if it was just a flicker), or which one just feels better (even if that’s very marginally or you don’t know why).
And you know the biggest key to all this? Accept you’re going to make some wrong decisions. No one is one-hundred per cent right all of the time. Even a coin has two sides. If you take the pressure off from having to make the perfect choice all of the time, you’ll find it easier. Just make the best choice you can make in the moment (which, fyi, also happens to make it the right one), and then, if it does turn out to be a mistake, you can look back and know you did the best with what you could. (And know you also had the added bonus of learning something.)
No one (especially yourself) can ask for more than that.