4 Steps to Making Mindful Decisions

4 Steps to Making Mindful Decisions

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We’ve all been there.

You’ve got a big decision to make. But you just don’t know what to do.

Your mind jumps on a merry-go- round of  confusion.

What if I make the wrong decision? Which choice do I make? What if I make the wrong choice? Which road do I choose?

And the list of questions goes on.

By the time you’re finished mulling, you’ve got a massive headache and absolutely no conclusion in sight.

Welcome to the world of decision making. If you’re like most, the situation I just described is all-too-familiar. Making decisions is a tough thing. Especially big ones.

So just what can you do to make the decision making process more effective? Give these four mindful tips a try.

1. Put it in perspective.

When it comes to making mindful decisions, it’s important to put them in perspective. This means that you need to weigh all sides of any given situation to gain a sense of clarity.

To better explain this concept, I’m going to use an analogy that I’ve used before. Imagine standing in a circle with a group of people. No two perspectives will be the same. What you see will be completely different than what others will see.

The same goes for mindful decision making.  When it comes to making choices, perspective is key. Always remember to look at all angles with a clear perspective BEFORE you make a decision. This will help you to choose the most logical path.

2. Keep your ego in check.

We typically view the world from an egocentric view of life. This is the natural inclination to see the world from the viewpoint of “I.” This is a natural method of protection. It is the survival mechanism that drives us to take care of our own needs in order to get by in life.

However, when it comes to decision making, the egocentric viewpoint hinders our ability to make decisions from an unbiased point of view. In order to make mindful decisions, we need to move out of this limiting ego-based perspective. In turn, this helps us to make good decisions.

Take a look at how your ego might be influencing whatever decision you need to make. How does this affect your choice?

3. Notice how autopilot thinking patterns affect decision making.

Autopilot is when the mind is thinking and wandering about on its own – reminiscing about or regretting the past or worrying about the future. Autopilot isn’t necessarily bad or good. It’s just the way the mind works. However, as we spend more time being mindful, we discover that autopilot drives our thinking patterns, our emotional responses and – often – our decisions.

Autopilot thinking patterns bias our view and limit our ability to see things as they really are. This deters our ability to see all the options.  For example, autopilot might kick into decision making by saying “I could never do that.”  How do you know? You really don’t. This is a biased viewpoint that stands in the way of making a mindful decision.

When it comes time to make important decisions, make it a point to notice how autopilot thinking patterns influence your choices. I think you’ll be surprised as to what you find.

4. Try to become less attached to the outcome of your decision.

Another important (and difficult) part of mindful decision making is learning to be less attached to the outcome of the decision itself. Wanting things to turn out a certain way continues to confuse our view of reality. Make it a point to become less attached to the outcome of your decision once that decision is made. Let life unfold naturally.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.

To your mindfulness,

Dr. Marchand






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