Make Better Choices.

My kids roll their eyes, but every time they leave me, I tell them "Make good choices! Be a good person!". I'm 20% convinced that these little reminders will stick with them. Maybe my words will rest on their shoulders like a little angel and make a difference. Maybe they'll ignore it completely and lead a life of crime. Only time will tell. My attempt at proactive parenting had me thinking about choices.

We have so many choices that we make in our lives. I believe that most everything happens for a reason - to help us, to grow us, to place us on the path we are meant to be. Yet, sometimes we could probably make better choices - ones that prevent some of the heartbreak or frustration that doesn't always have to be inevitable.

Here is my recipe for making better choices. It doesn't guarantee a positive outcome, but it may help:

1. Ask Why - This is a big one, and is especially relevant when it involves who to love (though it can apply to many situations). Ask why. Why am I drawn to this person? Is it because of past experiences or wounds? Am I repeating a lesson? I have a client who is casually dating two guys - one is awesome and relationship ready. The other is brooding and a challenge. Who do you think she is drawn to? Bingo! The challenge. Working through this with her, we unearthed some pretty unhealthy patterns. As of now, she is choosing wisely. Ask why.

2. Get Quiet - Internally and externally. Get quiet, spend time in meditation or journaling. Not a meditator? Take a walk. Leave your phone behind. Let yourself think and feel for a minute without distraction. Externally, be cautious about how many people you invite into the decisionmaking process. If you ask 5 people for their opinions, you'll likely end up with a confusing mix of advice. Stop letting all those cooks in the kitchen.

3. Envision - As a hypnotherapist, I work a lot with visions - using your imagination to help you make better decisions. Try it with the options at hand. Envision what it looks like to make each decision. Imagine yourself in that job, house, relationship, etc. Get specific. Imagine the details. Don't leave out the negatives. How does it feel? What does your gut say?

Perfect decisionmaking is a fallacy. However, I do believe that we can make better choices when we are honest with ourselves, recognize patterns that harm us, and trust our intuition.

 

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