A few days ago I woke up with an anxious feeling in my gut about the day ahead. I was going for a job trial so that I could make some extra cash to support my writing. When I went for the interview I had a feeling that I wasn’t particularly interested in the job. But I chose to overlook it telling myself, “well at least I’ll be earning some money again.”
I tried justifying to myself the reasons why I needed to take this job. But on waking this morning, my gut was telling me otherwise. In the past I chose to ignore my gut instincts in these kinds of situations, often leading to future stress for myself. But today I decided to stop and tune into what my instincts were telling me.
I sat in silence and meditated on the question, “Why do I feel so anxious about this situation?”
The answer soon came to me, this is what I was able to identify.
1. I was making a fear-based decision.
My old patterns were surfacing, telling me that I need the money now. But the truth is I didn’t particularly want or need this job. True the extra cash would be good in the short term, but I had other options I just needed to practice a little patience.
2. I was going against myself.
I was reminded of a promise I made to myself a few years ago which was: Never accept another job that gave me that unsettling gut feeling. To learn to trust in the universe and my inner wisdom.
3. It was not in line with my true path.
By this, I simply mean energy frequency. Due to being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I naturally tune into the energy of places and people. I spent many years of my life putting myself in situations where the energy frequency didn’t feel right to me. So to honor my true self and the path I wish to take, I need to feel like the energy of places/people resonates with me.
4. I was unconsciously putting blocks in place for myself.
Writing and helping others is my passion and purpose in life. When I write and focus on work that involves helping people, everything flows with ease. When I don’t feel purpose in my work I feel stuck, I am blocking the true potential of my life energy. The bottom line is believing in yourself. If you choose to put blocks in place, then you are doubting your true potential.
5. I wasn’t trusting in the universe.
Any fear-based decision making is choosing not to trust in life. Choices that are right for you will flow with ease and a deep sense of inner knowing. Wrong choices will feel heavy and give a sense of resistance.
How to identify when you are making fear based decisions
Here are some practical tips to identify fear-based decision making and practices to help you make choices more aligned with your true purpose.
1. Identify body sensations
When you are faced with a decision sit with how it feels in your body. What are the sensations that arise? Do you feel a heaviness in your gut or increased heart rate? Do you feel restless or uneasy? These are all indicators that the decision is not right for you.
Do you feel a sense of lightness or excitement? Is there a deep inner knowing that this is the right choice? When a decision is right, you won’t feel any resistance. It will feel light and effortless, this is a sign that your true life force is flowing through you with ease.
2. Listen to your gut instincts
As I said earlier my gut instinct was warning me about a situation. I knew deep down it wasn’t right for me, and if I chose to ignore that warning it would bring unwanted stress in the future. It’s far too easy to go against yourself and justify reasons to doubt your instincts, but I can tell you from my own experience, always listen to your inner voice.
Many of us have forgotten how to listen to our instincts, so here are some tips to identify when you might be going against your gut instincts.
- You feel heaviness, unease, dread or pain in your solar plexus (gut) or heart
- You sense little warning signals, signs or messages
- Your inner voice might be subtly hinting that something isn’t quite right
- You get an inkling, hunch or feeling that something is off
- Feeling like you are going against yourself
3. Does this decision bring on anxiety?
Whenever I have made a decision that isn’t right for me I become highly anxious and irritable. If you are waking up in the morning feeling anxious about something, this is a big red flag. It might seem obvious, but many of us choose to ignore anxiety by distracting ourselves. But the problem is by ignoring it and choosing not to address the issue, the anxiety and irritability will only continue to bubble under the surface.
If you feel anxious about something try to address it early on, rather than avoiding it. I know it’s not easy, it feels yucky and uncomfortable. But the sooner you acknowledge it, the less power it has over you.
Here are a few tips that help me when I’m feeling anxious about decision making:
- Ask yourself, what exactly am I feeling anxious about? Get to the root of the problem and then do what you can to fix it. See what comes up, clarity often helps to ease anxiety.
- Write down your options and the pros and cons of a situation. This helps to bring more clarity as to why you might feel anxious.
Are you procrastinating?
Often when you make a fear-based decision or a choice that doesn’t feel right, it presents with procrastination and avoidance. You try to avoid the uncomfortable feelings it brings up and often try to distract yourself from actually making the decision. Procrastination is a big warning sign that you aren’t interested in or passionate about the choices you are making.
An article on Zen Habits explains; at its root, procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear.
Pause and ask yourself, Why am I choosing to avoid this? Nine times out of ten, the answer will be because you are not interested. If it doesn’t bring you joy, why do it? You always have a choice to change things and when you do things you enjoy you will find much less resistance and procrastination.
The bottom line is why waste your time and energy on doing things that don’t bring joy to your life?
When it comes to decision making, we have a natural ability to identify what is right and what is wrong for us. Humans are instinctual beings, it’s just that we often forget how to tune into our inner wisdom. Learning to overcome fear-based decision making and beginning to trust yourself is empowering. When you believe in your abilities and inner wisdom, you start to live your life aligned with your true purpose.
How is listening to your inner wisdom helping you to make decisions aligned with your true path? Share your comments below.
Related articles: 5 helpful Tips to Identify and Overcome Fear.