There is so much conflict going on in your head that you literally can’t make a decision. Once you have made a decision you will know whether it was the right one and, if it wasn’t, then make the other decision and see how that works for you. There is no judgment in this just a necessity to resolve the conflict in your mind.
The other process I use with clients is a longer process and I have taken it from “Yes or No” by Spencer Johnson. It is a very short and easy-to-read book and gives you six questions that will help you make a decision or just decide to not make a decision. There are three practical questions and three heart-based questions.
The first thing to do is to find the question that you could have an answer of Yes or No to.
If you have a question that goes like this “Do I stay or do I go?” then there is no yes or no answer to it. However if you have a question that goes like this “Do I stay?” then there is a yes or no answer to it.
1. Am I pursuing the real need?
So ask yourself whether you know what your real need is rather than your want. Here’s an example: if you feel that security is important to you and the question is “do I stay?” then you will probably be able to answer yes or no by reflecting on whether yes or no would give you more security.
2. Am I informed of my options?
Have you written down every option that you have in this scenario? Make a long list.
3. Have I thought this through to a better result?
This means, have you thought through what yes would mean and what would that mean and what would that mean and so on.
If you were to say no, then what would that mean and what would that mean and so on.
1. Am I really telling myself the truth?
This is something only you will know. Have you really worked on what is your real need, all of your options and thought both the yes and no through to be sure which would get you a better result? Or, are you just going with what you want?
2. Does this decision really feel right to me?
This is your gut instinct or what your heart is telling you. You will know whether it feels right or just something that you feel you should do.
3. Do my actions show I believe I deserve better?
Again, this is a key question. It is easier sometimes to keep the status quo and everyone else happy but you are important!! Does your decision mean that you know you deserve better than the status quo?
So write down the Yes’s and the Nos. Sometimes, it is easy and you have six Yes’s or six Nos. If you have anything else, go back and see if you could look further into the ones that conflict. Do you need more information? Or do you need more time to think?
I’ll give you an example of something a client was working through. It was a decision to move nearer to her daughter. This question allowed a Yes or No answer.
If she said YES
1. Does it meet the real need? She decided that her real need was for happiness. Her friends were where she lived and her work and hobbies were there. While she was happy to see more of her daughter she would have been less happy uprooting herself. So the answer to this was NO.
2. Have you considered all of the options? She hadn’t because as soon as we started to do that she thought of other options such as her daughter moving nearer to her. So the answer was NO.
3. Had she thought this through to a better result? If she had said yes she would have been less happy and that would have meant she had a less good relationship with her daughter which would have meant that she regretted the move. NO she hadn’t managed to think it through to a better result.
If she said YES
1. Was she really telling herself the truth?
Well, she really wanted to stay where she was in her heart. So the answer to that was NO.
2. Did the decision feel right to her?
Again it didn’t feel right to say yes. So the answer was NO.
3. Do her actions show that she believed she deserved better?
When she thought it through, her heart was telling her to stay where she was so the answer was NO.
So she had six No’s and a lot of clarity. She went away to have a talk to her daughter and see if there were any other options.
Why don’t you work through a simple yes or no question so that you are comfortable with the process and can use it for any decision?