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Making Stress-Free Decisions By Taking Guided Actions Print E-mail
Vanessa Wesley   
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Making Stress-Free Decisions By Taking Guided ActionsAre you in midlife facing a tough decision right now?

Are you asking yourself "What should I do?"

So often we are told to take action..."Just DO it", as the famous Nike ads admonish. Teachers, mentors, and coaches, too, have advised us to take action-any action, just get moving they tell us. It's true that often taking that first step dissolves doubt and some of the fear that paralyzes us. So there is some merit in the just do it advice.

However, and this is a big however, often taking fast action leads to uncertainty about the action taken. We ask ourselves, "Was that the right thing to do?" "Should I do something else?" "Did I consider all my options?" And we're right back to doubting ourselves.

Sound familiar? And if you are considering a decision in your work, relationships, or health due to transitions occurring in your life, especially if you are in your middle years, then taking "the wrong" action can be downright frightening.

Sometimes, transitions are thrust upon us, and perhaps quite suddenly. Suppose your job or work changes unexpectedly. GM announced bankruptcy and became the largest company ever to do so. In its wake 20,000 more people will lose their jobs. If, in your workplace, the pink slip arrives on your desk, what action do you take then? Or, how about if you receive an unfavorable health diagnosis that immediately spirals you into having to make a quick and often uninformed decision. For many, these are stressful circumstances that cause difficulty in making clear and guided decisions.

Decisions make themselves

When life offers us, as it often does, myriad choices and options, is there a foolproof way to make decisions less stressful and more aligned with our highest goals and values?

Years ago I heard an enlightened author, Byron Katie, say that she never makes a decision...that the decision—the next step—always shows up. I was very intrigued by that. So over the years I've tested it for myself.

Whenever I had to make a decision, I'd wait. Early on when I was new to practicing this, a decision seemed so urgent that I couldn't wait. My mind would play havoc with me and demand that I make a decision NOW! "What are you nuts!" thoughts would shout at me, "What are you waiting for?"

How to allow the best decision to just "show up"

However, over time, I came to see that it is true that decisions make themselves. It's astonishing to watch this happen: I deliberately ask "What is next?" and then wait. The decision seems to just show up. Without any effort on my part, the right thing to do makes itself known, and then it's simply a matter of easily following through.

Here's how it works: Sometimes the decision is made or told to you by someone else."OK, so here's what you'll do."Sometimes options are eliminated. "Sorry, that item is no longer available". Sometimes the decision comes as a KNOWING inside. "It's time to make my health a priority." And sometimes the decision simply arrives in the mail. "Hire us! We clean windows" just when you were thinking about your dirty windows. When you wait, the right action presents itself and feels guided from within.

How to take guided actions

If you commit to taking guided action, decisions will get a lot easier to make, even stressful ones. It'll take a bit of practice and getting used to; after all we have a strong drive to know the outcome for any decision we make. Yet guided actions are clear, certain, and in alignment with what we really want and desire. They emanate from our soul and speak to us through distinct sensations.

When people come to me for private sessions, the most frequently asked question is, "What should I do?" They feel a lot of stress around having to make the "right" decision. So here's one method for taking guided action:

1. Get Clear About What It Is You Are Deciding. For example: I need money, should I sell my motorcycle? You love your motorcycle, and in your heart you don't want to sell it, but you need the extra money.

2. Re-frame The Question Into A Wondering Statement: I need an extra $10,000; I wonder how I will get that. I wonder if selling my motorcycle is the best thing to do. I wonder what to do next.

3. Breathe and Let Go. Don't skip this step!

4. Notice What Shows Up In Your Environment. Here's when it gets fun! For example: Two days later a friend asks you if you're interested in selling your motorcycle. Or, you get a flier in the mail that states, "We buy used motorcycles!"

5. Follow Through On What You Receive. It doesn't mean you will sell your motorcycle. It means that discussing that option is your next step.

Simply wondering about something, anything—even about the direst situation, will immediately release stress and open your heart and mind to hearing guidance. "My goodness!" you exclaim as an answer shows up, "I was just wondering about that!"

Commit to taking guided action. You will LOVE making decisions this way. Go ahead, test it for yourself.

Vanessa Wesley, co-author of Your Essential Whisper works with women in midlife to use the extraordinary power of inner guidance to create personal freedom and prosperity. Get your free weekly inspirational messages.

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