One of the things I love about being self-employed is that I get to make all the decisions. One of the things I don’t love about being self-employed is the same thing. Some days, by 4pm, the idea of choosing dinner – making one more decision – feels like too much. (For this, meal planning ahead of time works well for me. Paprika is one of my favourite phone apps.)
As business owners, we need to decide what to offer, what to charge, how to get the word out, with whom we’ll collaborate, which experts to follow, which experts to stop following, which skills need nurturing, what we’re already doing well enough… whether we are doing the right things. In the online realm, we are inundated with information and recommendations. Sometimes two different roads are equally appealing and there’s only you to choose between them. It’s a lot of responsibility. And filtering the data – both concrete and intuitive – requires considerable energy. Decision-making is taxing, even for the decisive. Especially when people are relying on us.
For the last two years, I’ve been sitting with what feels to me like a big question. I rely heavily on my intuition and, with this particular question, I wasn’t getting a clear answer. I needed help interpreting the information I was getting… and I needed other ways of accessing the information than what I’ve always done. So I reached out to friends for advice, asking “How do you make decisions when both choices are right?” and now, combined with my own, I have a list of different ways to approach decision-making, which I like so much, I want to share it with you, fellow big decision-makers.
30 ways to make a decision when you’re not sure what to do
1. Free-write in a journal exploring the question and possible answers without judging what comes out. Write until there’s nothing left to write.
2. Flip a coin. (If you’re happy with the result, stick with it. If you’re not, you have your answer.)
3. Draw a mandala. Here’s how. (That one’s from my creative stylist-friend Wendy.)
4. Consult a trusted intuitive. Laurie Anne Kingis mine and has been a guide for 15 years now. Carmen Spagnola comes so very highly recommended too.
5. Give it (more) time and wait for clarity.
6. Spend a day pretending/living as though you’ve made the decision. (Then do the same with the other choice.) What sorts of things would you do and not do? How do you feel in this life? (This is an exercise I learned from Randi Buckley that I use A LOT. It came up in her Maybe Baby program that I cannot recommend more highly.)
7. Have a Tarot reading. I’ve worked with the lovely Elle North. I’ve heard great things about Theresa Reed, too.
8. Close your eyes. Put each choice in a corner of the room, then imagine yourself sitting in each. Where do you feel comfortable/warm/expansive/happy? Where do you feel restricted/constrained/cold? The feelings may be subtle but usually you’ll be able to read a difference. (This is an exercise I recommend as a small part of the pricing work in The Pink Elephant School of Kind Business program.)
9. Pray. Whatever that looks like for you.
10. Walk a labyrinth.
11. Move your body in a way that disrupts your thinking. A hard run, a long walk, yoga… Dance for six fast songs in a row.
12. Stand near a moving body of water. The negative ions help.
13. Call your mom.
14. Have a session of equine therapy. (Jennifer Schramm’s Breakthrough Intensive was how I finally got my own big answer, plus more, this week – it’s seriously worth flying in for, if you’re not near Toronto.)
15. My genius friend Sarah Selecky, the mind behind The Daily Prompts, gave me this question, “If you were a creature with no language, what direction would smell the tastiest?” I love that.
16. Imagine yourself three years from now looking back. Which decision looks better from that vantage point? How about from ten years on? Or – let’s get dramatic – from your deathbed?
17. Follow NASA on Instagram and contemplate the galaxy. It can put a decision in perspective. And the images – WOW. (That’s another from Sarah.)
18. Take one drop of jack-in-the-pulpit flower essence in a little water and then give yourself some quiet time indoors or – even better – in nature.
20. If your questions are business-related, you could schedule Gentle Business Advice with me.
21. Ask an elder.
22. Place your hand on your heart and just feel what you are feeling. Usually an answer is on the other side.
23. Write out a conversation between you and your indecision. Ask it questions, write down its answers.
24. Surrender the idea that there is a “right” choice. Just choose and see where it leads. And if it doesn’t lead where you feel called, just choose again then. (This is inspired by my friend, Jennifer.)
25. Book a [Spotlight Session with Tanya Geisler](http://www.tanyageisler.com/spotlight-session/). That lady’s mind is lightning.
26. Use a pendulum and ask it yes or no questions. (I have a rose quartz one on a silver chain that is really pretty.)
27. Collect more data for each of the choices. Google. Go the library. Dip your toe in each option.
28. Open a book to a random page (usually inspiring books are best but any will work) and find the message for you there.
29. Pull an oracle card from a deck you like.
30. Assemble a small personal council of trusted advisors who know what you value and who you are and who wish you highest good, and ask them. (Or ask them how they make decisions, and you might get your own excellent list.)
If you found this list helpful, I think you’ll appreciate my semi-regular newsletter (and subscriber-only special offer codes)…
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Writer Carrie Klassen is a green tea enthusiast, fine point pen aficionado, INFJ Scorpio, and chief creatrix at Pink Elephant Creative, a website writing and design boutique for inspired small business owners and self-employed people in helping professions. She also writes workbooks at Pink Elephant Academy for Entrepreneurs, and is the founder of The Pink Elephant School of Kind Business.™