Sound decisions come in the silence

Written by Tracey Lemming, Photo by David Besh from Pexels

I used to have a habit of overthinking things when it was time to make a decision, big or small.  And sometimes I still do! I’d make lists, research, and talk to loved ones about what they would do.  I’d look outside myself for some sort of validation.  Sitting on the fence for too long can definitely be worse than making a decision, and adjusting if need be.  I didn’t want to make the “wrong decision.”  The question is, is there ever really a wrong decision?

Sometimes we wish that things had gone a different way, but most of the time, we learn and grow.  We pivot, and take knowledge with us to make a better decision next time or help someone else with a new perspective along the way.  We can sulk about the past and what we should have done, or take responsibility for our decision, and see what good it has brought into our life, even if it was just the knowledge to not do that again.  There’s always a bright side.  However we choose to see it, that is our choice, and one more decision that we get to make.

There are times that you just know, and can’t explain why you make a certain decision, even if it looks like a strange idea to outsiders.  It’s called listening to your intuition, and it’s not often taught in our society where logic and facts and figures rule.  A few weeks before graduation at Purdue, I realized that the jobs that I was applying for with my soon-to-be Management major didn’t feel right.  They weren’t exactly what I wanted to do at the time, although I couldn’t explain why not. The thought of staying another year and getting my Accounting degree came to mind.  Probably should have thought about that earlier, but after speaking with my academic advisor, I realized that it was doable.  Taking a summer course and all Accounting courses my Super Senior year would give me a double major, as well as the required 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA exam.  Which I would pass a few years later!  And when I graduated a year later, I couldn’t have been happier and I was excited to take my first job in Accounting.  If I had looked for advice outside of myself, I may have been talked into graduating on time, and I would have missed out with an extra year with my friends!

As time has gone on, I have learned to trust and listen to my own intuition. There’s many times that I didn’t listen, and those were the times that I wished that I had.  Like when my intuition told me to visit my Grandma on a Friday night, but I chose to see a friend instead.  Not knowing that it would be my last weekend with her, I wish I would have listened to my inner wisdom.  But, it’s a lesson to learn and one more reason to trust your own intuition.

I believe that sound decisions come in the silence.  If we can take a moment to breathe, relax, and quiet our mind, this is when our internal guidance usually comes through.  Maybe you have a quiet space to sit in a comfortable chair, or maybe you like to hike and find a space in nature with the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze.  It could even be a few moments in your car before walking into a home with your spouse and children.  Whatever feels best to you, go with it.  And the more that you can practice this, the louder and quicker your intuition will speak.  It’s a skill that I recommend as it will make your decisions easier.  No more making pros and cons lists, and spending precious energy wondering what if you make the wrong decision.  Checking in with how you are feeling and being open to receive will give you a smoother road on your journey.

Sometimes the guidance that you receive sounds crazy, but those are usually the times that you receive the biggest reward when you follow it. The next time you are faced with a decision, big or small, that you would normally look for advice from others, take a moment to breathe and listen to the silence. Observe your thoughts and any inspiration or nudges that you may receive. And take a moment to reflect, when’s the last time you followed your intuition and it led you to something great? When did you choose to listen to your head instead of your heart? Given the choice, which one would you listen to next time?

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