Want to make a decision you can trust? Engage your feelings.
Facing an important decision?
Don’t make the mistake of separating the head and the heart when you have an important decision to make. Or any decision, for that matter. The best decisions engage the heart and the head.
Which is counterintuitive
Men especially think that when they are making a decision that they need to keep the decision centered in logic. The problem — and you know this yourself — is that when you approach decision making this way, you often suffer paralysis by analysis.
So start with the heart.
And don’t worry. You will naturally get into your head eventually — as you always do. The challenge is to make room for your emotions when making decisions you can trust.
Here are the five major feelings:
A cautionary tale:
Consider the story of Elliot, as told by Lisa Cron in her book, Wired for Story:
Elliot, a patient of Antonio Damasio, had lost a small section of his prefrontal cortices during surgery for a benign brain tumor. Before his illness, Elliot held a high-level corporate job and had a happy, thriving family. By the time he saw Damasio, Elliot was in the process of losing everything. He still tested in the 97th percentile in IQ, had a high-functioning memory, and had no trouble enumerating each and every possible solution to a problem.
Trouble was, he couldn’t make a decision—from what color pen to use to whether it was more important to do the work his boss expected or spend the day alphabetizing all the folders in his office. Why? Because, as Damasio discovered, the damage to his brain left him unable to experience emotion. As a result, he was utterly detached and approached life as if everything in it was neutral. But wait, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Now that emotion couldn’t butt in and cloud Elliot’s judgment, he’d be free to make rational decisions, right? I think you know where this is going. Without emotion, each option carried the exact same weight—everything really was six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Will you do it?
Meaningful change begins with action. So — next time you are faced with a decision, will you take a moment and consider how you feel about the outcome, rather than spinning it all in your head?
Want more help?
I can help you get in touch with your feelings — and make better decisions.
And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you’re going through. And I’ll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I’m here to help you focus, overcome resistance, and get moving again.