"Should I accept the job offer at the high-stress firm with all the notoriety and big paychecks or stay put where I can grow into a leadership role in a job that is comfortable and flexible? ...take that once-in-a-lifetime solo trip overseas or stay home because I'll miss my daughter's recital that week? ...order the double bacon cheeseburger or the chopped kale Caesar salad??
...Seriously, WTF?! What if I make the wrong choice? I can’t do it, I’m a mess. Who can I really trust to give me some proper advice here? How do I even START?!?”
If these words feel familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, I was having a moment of stuckness about 30 minutes prior to sitting down to write this very post. "I have no idea what to write about" was on repeat in my brain.
I’ve worked with many people who have felt permanently “stuck” in indecision, hurt, fear, etc., and I know how debilitating it can feel. I also don’t think there’s a person on the planet who hasn’t felt stuck before… Seriously, if you do, contact the folks at Guinness because that has to be a world record.
The secret is discernment.
Fear not. Your intuition, otherwise known as your inner GPS, will always tell you when something is right (or all wrong) for you. And learning the art of discernment (your intuitive superpower) is the best thing ever.
Here are some of the definitions of discernment that Webster’s dictionary has to offer:
“to detect with senses other than vision”
“the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure”
Discernment is both a physical experience involving the senses AND a skill you can learn to detect even the subtlest nuances of your choices & desires.
Practical tips to try now:
Next time you’re faced with the opportunity to discern if something is right for you, and you have some time to ponder (i.e., it’s not a split-second decision that you have to make), try this before consulting with your peeps, making a spreadsheet, or comparing yourself to others...
Find a quiet space and take as much or little time as you need.
Ask the question (out loud or to yourself).
Close your eyes and simply scan through your body for information… are there any sensations? Where are they? What do they have to tell you? [Examples include: butterflies in your stomach, tension, goosebumps, remembrances of a satisfying fragrance, tightness, whispers, heat, chills, an image, that "gut feeling", sweat, words of affirmation] These are cues.
Pay attention and name it. In our busy lives we tend to willfully ignore these sensations OR we’re simply so busy that we don’t notice them at all! Remember to slow down. If you need to take a break, step outside or into another room for a minute… get the time and space you need! Then, name what you feel: this feels like a ‘yes’… this feels like a ‘no’.
As with any new skill, this requires practice. But soon enough, you might notice that you can discern much faster than you previously realized. And this can help you let go of relying on others to help you make decisions and/or relieve you of making comparisons to others... and that whole bacon cheeseburger debate will soon become a no-brainer, literally.
So, did you notice how I mentioned that I was struggling with this very issue before sitting down to write this post? I bet you're putting two-and-two together here as to how I finished the article, but if not, here's what transpired:
I slowed down— way down— and tuned into my indecision and blocks. “Write about it,” my inner voice said. I knew I had arrived at an answer when I sensed a solid feeling in my core (just one of many tell-tale signs).
Have fun practicing using your intuitive superpower— I'd love to hear about it if you do!