So what makes decision making so difficult and why is it we get so stuck in the process? Let’s think about it for a moment. Growing up we are taught to use our intellect to succeed in school. And then we transition to the work environment where we are consider successful by how much we get accomplished or by our actions.
Very few educational and professional environments foster the development of intuition, which I describe as an inner knowing that is felt between the heart and the abdomen.
Intuition is different than a gut reaction because sometimes a gut reaction is almost impulsive response to a strong emotion.
As a career counselor helping my clients making major life decisions, I believe it’s important to slow down and connect with your intuition. I was taught a meditation practice called “Intuitive Inquiry” by my clinical supervisor, Chris Kelman, and it has changed my life.
Intuitive Inquiry does not require a lot of time and it’s really effective at guiding decisions.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Think about a decision and all the facts or data that need to be taken into consideration.
Step 2: Close your eyes. Take two deep breaths and focus the energy that is in your head and drop it between your heart and abdomen.
Step 3: Draw your energy and focus it to your heart space and follow with several long breaths. Whatever decision you have at hand, focus that energy into your heart/abdomen. It’s almost like whatever thoughts would be spinning around your head, take all that energy and drop it down.
Step 4: Start asking the situation yes or no questions. Sometimes I will follow up with an open ended question and often I will receive a one or two word response. When you try this out, I think you will be surprised by how fast the answers come with such certainty.
Before I begin my work day, I will often use Intuitive Inquiry to prioritize my tasks and activities. I’ve also used it for more major life decisions and occasions where something didn’t feel right. It’s amazing how much it has positively changed my life- no longer negatively impacted by overthinking or overreacting.
Once I started having my clients slow down and use Intuitive Inquiry to make career decisions, they would get unstuck, take action and be satisfied with their outcomes. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!