Ever since I posted about my No-Brainer Scenario technique, I’ve been thinking about decisions.
Why they’re hard. Why finding the No-Brainer Scenario helps. The link between the No-Brainer Scenario and sovereignty.
And then last week, as the result of turning away some work, I bumped up against more decision-related stuff.
It was really hard and I got completely stuck.
(And no, it didn’t occur to me to try to use my own technique. If I had tried to use it, I probably would have realized there wasn’t a No-Brainer Scenario to be had. Even then, I doubt I would have trusted that conclusion.)
With the help of Hiro, I realized the reason I was having such a hard time deciding whether to say yes or no to this opportunity was because I believed there was only one right choice.
If I said yes, but the right answer was no, I’d be stuck working on something that drains me. If I said no but the right answer was yes, I would have missed an opportunity I needed.
With that kind of thinking, is it really any wonder I got stuck on this decision?
I’m betting that at least some of you out there might have similar decision-related ideas.
A disclaimer or three
Some of what I’m about to say may not be for everybody.
If the idea of working on changing your beliefs about something gives you heart palpitations or makes you want to rock quietly in a corner, just skip this post. Really, it’s okay. I will love you just the same.
But I believe we can work on our thought patterns just like we can work on any other pattern. And isn’t what we believe about something a pattern of thinking?
Oh, and one last thing. We are talking about reasonable decisions that don’t involve harm to ourselves or others.
Do multiple right choices mean there are no wrong choices?
Logic geeks would say no. But that’s not the point.
The point is to investigate how we interact with decisions. And to consider that it may not be only about the actual choices we make.
When Hiro said that there is not only one right choice, I instantly felt a spaciousness open around me. I felt supported because it meant I couldn’t make a mistake (a perfectionist’s dream).
To me, the idea of there being no wrong choice means it’s all learning.
Yes, I’m making some assumptions (but it’s my belief, so I get to form it however I want). That the learning is more important than the usual outer signs of “success.” That working on our stuff with compassion is, by definition, a successful way to live our lives.
It also means that if there is something we need to learn, we’ll keep getting the chance as many times as it takes us to say yes.
It separates the choice itself (saying yes or no to an opportunity) from what we can learn from the choice (what comes up for us in the face of making the decision?).
As long as I’m willing to do the work, no matter what I decided in this case, I could still learn something by investigating my patterns around this decision.
What came up for me this time around
My gut said no pretty quickly, yet I was unable to trust myself.
I started asking for opinions from my support network to see if they agreed with my thinking. And when I didn’t get the validation I was seeking, I got more knotted up.
I needed there to be a logical, quantifiable reason to say no. I wasn’t willing to take my gut response at face value.
And then there was the money thing. As in, I need this money, so surely my gut is wrong when it tells me I don’t want to do this.
I also noticed that this is how decision-making (especially work-related decisions) tends to be for me. Gut-wrenchingly painful.
By becoming conscious of all these patterns, I can start to work on them and question them and dissolve them.
Beliefs are kinda like clothes. Sometimes.
You don’t have to change your beliefs about decisions, just like you don’t have to change any of your patterns.
But sometimes you might want to, because maybe it would make life more enjoyable.
As you notice what you believe about decisions, you might find it easier to play with the idea of trying things on for size.
Like clothes, if the new beliefs chafe or pinch, you can go back to your old ones. But sometimes you find the new ones suit you better.
Here are some ideas to play with…
If you choose to believe there’s no wrong choice, do you feel less pressure to get it right?
If you choose to believe it’s all about learning and working with your stuff, do you worry less about what you actually decide?
I’d love to hear about your beliefs about decision-making, and how decision-making might change for you if you believed that no matter what you decided, it would all work out in the end.
This is all about curiosity and exploration. It’s a should-free zone, thankyouverymuch.