How to Make Decisions for YourselfJul 20, 2022
“I don’t know what to do,” can be one of the most confronting feelings in the world. As humans, we like to be able to solve problems and know the answers to things. When we feel like we don’t know what to do or which we to go, it can often feel like a failure in itself. Sometimes it seems easier to ignore problems or give up rather than face making a decision that would change our lives.
People often come to me when they are at a major decision point in life. As an astrologer, I can provide feedback on potential timelines or outcomes of different choices. However, when clients ask me, “Which decision is the right decision?” what they usually mean is, "Which decision will cause me the least amount of pain?"
They often believe that one choice will lead to ultimate success and happiness while another choice might lead to total failure and pain. The reality of all decisions is that the results will likely be a mix of pleasure and discomfort.
As I’m writing this post in the middle of 2022, I am looking ahead at Mars’ transit through Gemini, which is one of the signs that tends to bring pressure around choices and indecision fueled by Gemini's awesome ability to question and play Devil's advocate. Mars usually asks us to remove or eliminate something and as it moves through Gemini I anticipate many people will be feeling pressured to make quick and life-altering decisions. However, Mars will be retrograde from October 30, 2022-January 12, 2023, which will likely delay the clarity you feel pressured to have to make decisions between August 20-October 30. When Mars is retrograde from October 30, 2022-January 12, 2023, you might question if you made the right decision in the early fall. Keep in mind that the end results of your choices likely won’t be seen until January 12-March 25, 2023, or shortly after.
So, what do you do when you don’t know what to choose or what the right choice is?
Why do I struggle to make decisions?
Let's first explore why I might feel indecisive in the first place. In my last post we covered some reasons you might be waiting for permission to live your life and many of these reasons might apply to your indecisiveness. But there are a few more specific reasons you might struggle to make a decision.
Here are 5 reasons why you might struggle to make a decision.
It’s not the right time to make a decision. Sometimes we feel very pressured to make a decision that will solve a problem. These high-pressure decisions can be reactive and even make the problem we’re trying to solve worse when we haven’t taken the time to identify what the problem we're trying to solve is. As an astrologer, I can also say that we have transits that create high-pressure decision making points. Sometimes when we look at the overall timeline we can see that there are multiple decision points and we can use that information to make smaller decisions over a longer period of time rather than trying to solve the whole perceived problem at once. I also know that sometimes people desperately want to make a decision and feel that they are prepared to make a big life move, but for whatever reason they don't have all of the information they need to make a decision.
You believe you are bad at making decisions. Often if we have unresolved grief or feel regret over a decision that we made in the past, we will hold the belief that we are not capable of making good decisions. For example, if you made a choice that led to financial loss or “failure,” you might not trust yourself to make good decisions. Sometimes we also have cognitive or emotional reasons why we don’t make wise choices. This might make you think that you have a personality flaw of being and irresponsible decision maker. This lack of self-trust can make you indecisive and make it hard to differentiate between what you want and what others want.
You don’t know where to start with making the decision. Even though we make millions of decisions through our lives, from what to wear and eat to where to live and who to partner with, we’re usually not aware of the process we go through to make decisions. Entrepreneurs are often forced to create processes for making faster and more efficient decisions because they have so many to make. In some areas of your life, you might have simple heuristics—mental shortcuts that can facilitate problem-solving and probability judgments. For example, if you might choose the cheapest or most convenient option. When it comes to larger life choices, there are many more factors to consider and this can make the decision making process much more challenging and exhausting.
You don’t want to make the wrong decision. It’s human nature to want to avoid pain and other unpleasant emotions When we are searching for the “right” choice, we are often trying to avoid pain. Searching for the right choice can leave us in indecision, over analysis and overwhelm. The reality of all decisions is that the results will probably be a mix of pleasurable and uncomfortable. There is not a decision that will completely avoid the things you are afraid of. There is no right or wrong choice, there is only our choice.
You’re afraid of what will happen as a result of making the decision. This is one of the most common reasons people stay in indecision. The reality is that often people do know which choice they prefer but they are concerned about how their decision will effect other people, they worry about upsetting others or losing respect from people the love. When you know what you want to do but you avoid taking action, you are being a passive observer of your life and putting off living.
In astrology, we see the interplay between fate and free will. There is a timeline and a map to your life. I’ve observed many people’s lives play out to the exact day of what is marked in their astrological timelines. This often forces us to question if we have any free will at all.
This is a much deeper philosophical question as an astrologer, but one way I see it is is that the timeline exists and there are expansive, beautiful, confronting and challenging periods in life that are marked from the time you were born. In this way, there is no right or wrong decision because you will experience these ups and downs no matter what. They are unavoidable. This helps me personally eliminate many of the fears that would keep me in indecision and allow me to make choices based on what feels most energetically aligned with who I am and what I am currently experiencing in my life.
How Your Beliefs Influence Your Decisions
One of the most important things to consider when you make decisions is how your current beliefs, emotions, and motivations are influencing your desire to make a decision and the decision you feel you should make.
If you feel external pressure to make a decision and are unsure what is right, ask yourself if you feel pressured to make a decision because it’s the right or proper thing to do. If there was no external expectation to make this decision, would you feel pressured to make it?
For example, do you feel pressured to get married because you have been with your partner for an extended period of time and you think that’s what you should do? There are many social and cultural expectations that motivate or pressure us to make certain decisions. Take some time to ponder if you personally value these things you feel pressured to do. You are allowed to question the expectations other people place on you. You are allowed to question the most popular or “best” way of doing something.
You’re allowed to come up with a totally different way of living your life than anyone else you know.
Your subconscious mind is full of beliefs and values that guide your decisions without you even realizing it. Luckily, you can go into your subconscious and explore what’s there. You can even take steps to change your mind and consequently your world.
If you were going to create your own world, what would it look like? What would you do in the morning in this world? What would you do in the evening? What would the weather be like? How would you spend your free time? How much free time would you have? What impossible things would be possible in this world? What are the rules and values that would be part of this society?
Allow yourself to imagine new possibilities for what your life could look like. When you play and imagine possibilities, you are pushing the constraints of your current worldview.
Five Steps to Making Decisions for Yourself
If you didn’t read the above section about how your beliefs shape your decisions, go back and read it because we are going to talk even more about that in the following steps.
The most important work in the decision-making process happens before you even make the choice. In fact, the most important work in the decision-making process happens every single day as you develop self-intimacy and self-trust.
The best decisions come from truly knowing yourself.
There are no shortcuts to truly meeting and knowing yourself, but the time you spend doing this work will help you make better and fast decisions beyond just one choice.
While there are a handful of very important steps to go through in the decision-making process, knowing yourself will help you identify the feelings and emotions that arise in making choices, understand your motivation for making choices, and find peace that there isn’t a right or wrong answer.
That said, here are five important steps to making decisions for yourself.
Identify the ultimate goal. This is where taking the time to know and understand yourself pays off tenfold. It is incredibly difficult to make decisions for yourself if you do not know what you want. If you are clear on what you want and what your goals are based on your personal values and not what you think your values should be, you will save a lot of time by making decisions based on problems you actually want to solve and not wasting your time solving problems that aren’t real.
Challenge the constraints around the problem. Make a list of the constraints or limitations you see around the problem you’re trying to solve. What is the limited list of options available? Notice if these constraints are real. Some of the biggest constraints might not be rational or logical, they might be your own emotions or limiting beliefs. If you feel called to make a certain decision but can’t make it make sense within your perceived constraints, take time to notice if you are placing that constraint on the decision and if it is necessary.
Consider what failure would look like. This is less about going into each worst-case scenario in gory detail and more about getting clear on what you don’t want to happen. Knowing that there will be pleasurable and uncomfortable emotions no matter what and factors that are beyond your control, how do you want to feel as a result of your decision. What would happen if you didn’t make this decision? Allowing yourself to explore the range of emotions and outcomes can help you gain confidence in your choice.
Acknowledge your own biases. One of the biggest reasons we don’t make choices is because we’re afraid to fail and we don’t know what’s on other side. If you tend to be anxious about making decisions, you might spend too much time thinking about what would happen if things turn out “wrong.” Your own fears and perfectionism might push you towards decisions that aren’t aligned for you. Ask yourself if you might be biased to thinking things will turn out one way or another based on your general personality or past experiences.
Get feedback from a trusted circle. You might prefer to consult your spiritual guides or your closest friends when you are making choices. It’s important to be aware that each of these entities has their own biases that they bring to your decision-making process. Often, your first impression is your true preference. Sometimes we get outside input that makes us think that our own instincts are incorrect. It is okay to consult with people outside of yourself but don’t spend too much time over-complicating your mind with lots of outside input and opinions.
Return to the goal in mind and make your choice. Once you have moved through each of these reflective and emotional steps, the only thing you can do is make the best decision you can with the information you have available to you right now and trust yourself.
As you move through each step, you might notice that you have reactions that don't logically make sense. You might make progress in your decision-making then feel absolutely stuck and like there is no way out. When I experience this I often feel like I need to go lay down because I feel cold and tired. This is the freeze response of your central nervous system, and while it's trying to protect you it might overestimate the threat and gravity of this decision. Incorporating nervous system support throughout the decision-making process is absolutely critical. This is exactly what I'll guide you through in one hour during The Unbirthday Party.
Be Intentional About Time to Ponder the Decision
It’s okay to take your time to make decisions. Complex decisions take more time and thought. You might need to take breaks throughout the process of making the decision. While we broke down the steps above, you might spend a whole lunar cycle moving through each step if that is the timeline that is available to you.
Sometimes life throws us unexpected moments of clarity, but we can’t always wait for these to arrive. Take your time to ask questions of yourself and others, but at the end of the day remember that you are the one who has to live with the results of your personal choices.
You can learn how to make decisions for yourself and implement processes for making better and more nourishing decisions for you and your life. As you practice listening to yourself and caring for yourself you will find that making aligned choices becomes easier and faster.
Do you want spiritual support to aid you in your decision making?
You're invited to attend The Unbirthday Party!
Here you'll find a guided journey to make a decision you've been avoiding. Be sure to bring your cup of tea—or your beverage(s) of choice—and get ready for some mind bending fun!
Use astrology to break cycles and align with your calling.
In the Cycle Breaking Astrology Masterclass I will show you
how to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart to determine the patterns you are here to integrate.
- How to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart
- Determine the patterns you are here to integrate
- Find the gifts you are here to bring forward
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