Facing and Fearing

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along. (Author: Dan Andrews)

Trusting your intuition and making decisions based on it, is one of the most important things, I feel, about self-awareness.   The author of the prompt brings up some great points, many of which I tend to agree with and follow.  There are many people who may not believe in intuition.  There are those that don’t know what to do when they get that “strange” feeling.  Some know the feeling, but ignore it.  They are usually the ones who do the “woulda-shoulda-coulda” dance when it is all said and done.

I have learned early on to always follow my first mind (intuition).  There have been times when I didn’t, and I almost always had some regret for not doing what my intuition told me to do in the first place.  There have also been times when I did follow my intuition and things didn’t go as planned.  However, in the long run, the first thought ended up being the right choice after all.  Perhaps in those instances the timing was off or something shifted in the situation, but my intuition has never failed me.

Whenever I have tough decisions to make I try to meditate first.  Sometimes I know the answer immediately and go for it.  I am in the middle of making one of those life changing decisions at the moment.  This one I have to meditate on, nothing is really clear.  Some situations are changing as I get closer to making a decision, which is helping me more and more.  And maybe this is exactly what is supposed to happen.  This is not a life or death decision,  but it will heavily impact my life and I want to make sure that I am making the best choice possible.

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