The next time you’re struggling with a decision, stop and think about one of the options you have and ask yourself …. “How does this feel in my body?”
Sit with it. Observe the physical and energetic shifts in your body. Then take a break, consider the/an other option, and do the same.
Sound woo-woo? Yep. Does it work? Yep.
I recently was struggling with a decision about whether or not to walk away from something I’d committed to. Walking away from commitments is not in my DNA.
But this commitment was depleting me, not replenishing me. It was draining my energy and taking me away from my family, friends, and work.
At the time I was reading the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle (whenever I mention this, I feel the obligation to note that I am neutral on Glennon Doyle).
One night I was reading a chapter where Glennon was facing a major decision. She stopped and focused on how the scary choice felt in her body …. and in doing so quickly realized it was the right decision, because of how her body felt lighter than the heaviness with the other choice.
I stopped my reading and considered my situation. When I thought about sticking out my commitment, my chest felt like it had a weight, and my shoulders felt heavy. When I considered walking away, I felt that weight lift. I felt lighter.
Two days later, I stepped away from my commitment.
I employed this practice just yesterday when I was getting coaching from my peer coaching partner, Lysa Hlavinka Clemens. I was trying to decide how to approach a conversation. She asked how I was considering doing so, and then if there was a simpler way. It was a great question.
As I talked through a simpler potential approach, I could feel the tension leave my body. I knew it was the right option. Lysa pointed out later how the stress in my voice released.
As leaders, we are faced with decisions every day. Some are easy, but many aren’t, especially those that involve interpersonal relationships.
The next time you’re in this situation, take a pause. Take a breath. Consider each option separately. Consider how each feels in your body. Consider what that means.
Do you use this approach to decision-making? If you do, I’d love to hear about a time it’s made a difference for you. If you haven’t tried it yet, let me know what you think of this technique.