Life is full of choices. As we move out of childhood and into adulthood we experience more and more, and they are seemingly more "risky" choices. (As in, if we choose wrong, something terrible will happen -- we will dig ourselves into huge debt, our relationships will fall apart, we will no longer be loved or respected by our family, etc.) The more baggage (evidence) we gain to reinforce these beliefs acquired during childhood, the more we recreate patterns and essentially feel trapped by our circumstances.
All beliefs are well-intentioned. In fact at some time in our lives they were beautifully constructed to allow us to survive (perhaps even thrive?) in that given situation. However, when we fail to do "housecleaning" on the beliefs that no longer serve us, we can start to feel more and more bogged down by all the rules necessary to "keep us safe" or "make us happy."
Uncovering these patterns and releasing the grip they have on our current situations is great -- in fact it is a huge part of my coaching -- however, there are ways you can start making empowered decisions right NOW without even knowing what your outdated beliefs are. It all starts with getting out of your head and into your body.
With these three questions, it is possible to look at decisions without weighing pros and cons or over-evaluating every minute detail. They don't all apply in every situation, but if you keep them in the back of your mind you will always have at least one that will give you just what you need in your current decision.
1. Is this choice empowering or disempowering?
In any challenging decision there is always a path that feels more empowering, despite the "shoulds" or "coulds" or "expectations." What will truly put you in a position where you feel the strength to choose what is in best alignments with your values and most authentic self despite what others will think or say? When you choose empowering choices you are aligning with your core essence, and this is where the magic begins in creating the life you crave!
2. Is this choice expansive or contractive?
Sometimes words can get jumbled, guilt or shame can cloud clarity and we simply can't see what the empowering decision is. What then? Simple really -- trust your body. When your thinking mind is still getting in the way, look for cues in your physiology as to whether a decision is expansive or contractive. Does your chest tighten? Heart race? Face clench? Without letting the physiology of fear get in the way, key into whether a decision makes you feel internally closed off or opened up to the decision in front of you.
3. Does this choice bring me closer to the person I want to become 1, 5 or 10 years from now?
When you picture the best version of yourself -- the one who has exactly the life you dream of and is empowered by "having it all," what decision would you make? By clearing away the fears and limitations of your current self and operating from your most empowered vantage point, you have a ton of insight to offer in any decision you might have to make.
Ready to give it a try? Take these questions with you as you head back into your week. Take a pause before you react with the same old fear-based responses and simply ask yourself these three simple questions. You may be surprised how your life opens up!