Several years ago I was sitting in a conference room watching a woman onstage making a presentation. She was offering her latest program, something I was absolutely sure I didn’t need.
But as she told her story, I began to feel my emotions rise. She had started her coaching practice about the same time I had, yet here she was onstage + infinitely more successful that I.
As I continued to listen, my thoughts became more and more agitated.
She was outlining the requirements for this program. I could feel my anger churning.
Not at her success but at what I saw as my own shortcomings.
When the presentation ended, I got up from the table and stormed out of the room.
On my way out, I ran into someone I knew. She asked me what was wrong. I blurted out my frustration with myself … and my desire to do the program.
Where did that come from?? Simple answer: ego.
She then uttered the words that would change the course of my path.
How would you feel if you didn’t take the program?
My thoughts were telling me I had fallen way behind and I needed to catch up.
In that moment, I saw the program as the best answer to my desire for success. I went immediately to the table and signed up.
The result of this decision was the expenditure of thousands of dollars for the program, travel time + accommodations that led to absolutely zero success.
If only I’d known then what I know now.
Visual Journaling Page ~ Linda Hough 2017
Had it happened today, this is how differently the same scenario would have played out.
Sitting in a conference room, watching a presentation, I notice my thoughts getting very active. As the speaker talks, I understand that we have taken different paths each leading to where we are today. One is not better than the other. We are each on our own path.
Even with this awareness, my thoughts are creating the feeling of agitation in my body.
The speaker is describing her latest program that will surely propel those who are ready into success.
Because I know myself + the particular path I’m on, I do not see this program as adding to my success. Besides, I know now not to make any decisions when my mind is this agitated or in any sort of low state. I remind myself of this as I make my way out of the room during the break.
I stop to talk with someone I know and we casually exchange our thoughts on what we just heard. As much as I respect this person, taking in her words does not affect any decision I may be considering.
I continue outside where I find a quiet place to sit. I relax and gently quiet my mind so that I can better hear the wisdom inside.
When my thoughts have settled, I know beyond a doubt that this program is not a match. I hear a deep internal NO.
I take note of my agitation though, as a signal that I do have a desire inside that needs further exploration. I also know that this desire contains within it all that I’ll need if I decide to pursue it.
I return to my seat, at peace with my decision that is really not a decision at all but much more of a knowing.
~ ~ ~
On the female side of my family, decisions do not come easily. So much so I even made a painting on the subject. But by using the following guidelines, decisions have become effortless.
The Decision ~ oil painting ~ Linda Hough 2017
When you need to make a decision:
Do so from a calm state-of-mind. If you are agitated, upset, overworked or pressured, wait until your mind is relaxed. Making decisions from a low state often results in undesirable outcomes + regret.
This especially applies to any bad habit. You are more likely to succumb to cravings when something uncomfortable is happening, when you are tired or hungry or otherwise in a low state.
Do let your answer arise from inside. Listening to outside influences does not give you the quality information you need. Only YOU know you.
Even your personal thoughts themselves are not actually that helpful. They will often pull you back and forth, coming from different parts of yourself, from hidden beliefs or even habits.
While making a list of PROs + CONs can be helpful to the intellect, it’s the wisdom within that you can truly trust.
A mind at rest always knows what’s best.
Daily Quick Collage ~ Linda Hough 2017