Making wise choices in uncertain times

It can be difficult to make the right choices, especially in times like these. How do you find wise answers when the decisions you face are complex and can feel overwhelming?

With the current high levels of uncertainty and anxiety many decisions unfortunately, will be motivated by fear. Whatever difficulty you are facing now, personal or professional, know that you do have a powerful innate guidance system to help you. It is vital, especially now, that we know how to stay connected to and be guided by this inner compass in order to steer a wise course through all of this uncertainty and confusion.

But how do we distinguish the creative forces from the fearful, destructive forces in our minds? How do we differentiate the voice of the ego from intuitive inner guidance? Successful decision making doesn’t just hinge on rationality alone but involves a judicious mix of rational analysis and creative intuition.

Intuition is a minister from the unconscious.

Intuition is a gateway to the infinite reservoir of power and wisdom in the unconscious mind. It is our still small voice. So how do we tune into this inner guidance?

There are many ways to access that wisdom: meditation, dreams, body wisdom, active imagination, symbolism and so on. Note, none of these methods are left brain or analytical. Dreams are particularly powerful and one of my own main sources of guidance. I’ll focus on the power of our dreams for accessing wisdom in my next podcast. We could refer to this inner voice as your higher Self, Atman or cosmic consciousness. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but this innate guidance is the only voice that really matters. And our nervous system holds the key to tuning into it.

In order to hear inner guidance more clearly, we need to become more sensitive on all levels of our being. Heightened awareness allows for a clearer signal. Think of it like reducing white noise to hear a clear note. Hearing that inner voice more clearly depends on our ability to listen. Everything that has ever happened to us registers in some way in our nervous system, and affects the way in which we perceive reality, the way we act and react. We literally become our story, our mythology, and it filters our perception of the world.

There are 6 trillion chemical changes per second in the human body. But you’re not aware of it are you?

The more personal baggage we hold onto the less sensitive we are to our inner voice, and the more we will be led by ego and fear.

Our inner voice is always there, but like radiation cannot penetrate 4 metre thick high-density concrete, the inner voice is subtle and needs sensitive antenna.

 As an empath, I am highly tuned to other’s people’s emotions and motivations. This sensitivity serves me well in my job as a coach. I can tune into what my clients often aren’t even aware of themselves. My sensitivity has heightened even more through twenty years of sorting, clearing and healing the patterns of trauma passed down through generations of my own family. I have learned to swim at depths most people would drown in. What kept me afloat was a strong inner connection and faith in a force beyond normal perception. My inner voice is now so much stronger and clearer.

You can develop a clearer channel and improve your intuitive muscle power, but you need to learn how to switch gears from your fear-led ego to intuition.

The first step to tuning in more deeply and switching from ego to intuition, is to relax the body and mind. Begin by anchoring your mind to your breath. Be aware of your breath, as you breathe in and out. Just notice it. This practice alone will steady your mind. If you practice this type of breathing with awareness for just 10 minutes each day, it will help you to access your inner voice. And you can do this at any time of day.

You could take this a step further and try a meditation exercise called Body Wisdom: Asking the body yes or no? This will take about 10 minutes. It is an excellent exercise to help you develop the habit of checking inward for guidance throughout the day.

With practice, this exercise works equally well for big and small decisions – anything from “Should I attend this meeting?”, or “Is this project right for a person?” or “Is this person right for the job?” The bigger the decision, the higher the risk and hence fear of getting it wrong. Often, our ego will interfere and we won’t hear clearly.

To re-iterate, that’s why clearing your personal story matters so much in listening to inner guidance, and why some kind of meditative practice to relax the body and mind is so important BEFORE making difficult decisions.

Some people are naturally adept at picking up this kind of kinaesthetic information through their bodies; others may need a little practice. It can take a while to train yourself to perceive the difference between your body’s yes and no, but in time, this skill will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life, steering you where you need to go. You will learn to recognise when you start to go out of balance and take corrective action – before you have an unpleasant situation to deal with.

Practice on small decisions and then build on your foundation to making bigger choices. The second step is to act.

Procrastination is fear of making the wrong decision.

Sometimes we’re afraid to do something because we think we might fail or because others think we might.

As human beings, we have an extraordinary capacity for self-deception and insensitivity. The easy path is predictable and carries a false sense of security. False because there is no such thing as security in nature. We will all be much more aware of that now more than ever.

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing". Theodore Roosevelt

Ego will drive many people down predictable paths. Without sufficient connection to that inner voice, their base camp just isn’t stable enough to risk the unknown and trust that still, small voice. Standing on shifting sands, their roots don’t travel far enough into the true Self, so they find it impossible to take risks or even find refuge in that still point. It could be a new job, product, market, relationship or even a new life.

An ego-based choice will never lead to innovation, creativity is born of the unknown.

If you have a more adventurous personality, you may try to push forward with one trembling foot while the other is still firmly frozen to the spot. Dabbling in the new instead of making a full commitment to it: for example token R&D budgets that fall short of the full CAPEX needed to give the project a real chance, or retaining the poor performers and shying away from difficult conversations while hiring new talent hoping they’ll turn everything around; or initiating organisational values initiatives while the CEO’s or Directors poor behaviour goes unchecked.

I see this happen a lot, too often unfortunately. These types of decisions made daily have a compound effect. It all adds up to mediocrity, treading the same road in different shoes. We need new thinking and new ways of seeing more than ever.

True creativity means risking the unknown with all that we are. It is a quality of spirit. The pioneer knows that the only way to bring fresh insight to a difficult situation or problem is to get off the beaten track and think differently. And that takes courage. The kind of courage that only comes by standing on the rock of faith in something bigger than yourself.

It is our everyday choices that demonstrate who we truly are. What will you do to connect more with your inner voice, enhance your judgement and bring more wisdom to our world story?

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