We all struggle at one time or another with making decisions in our lives. Since the pandemic, most of us have experienced the need for certainty in an uncertain world. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. This makes those hard decisions weigh harder on us, especially during times when the simplest of decisions seem overwhelming—like when choosing a salad dressing among hundreds of options can flood us with heart palpitations. It’s no wonder stress, depression, and rage are on the uptick around things that seem so unimportant in the scheme of our lives.
How do we get out of decision paralysis? I have created a quick guide you can use whenever a decision stops you in your tracks. I call it my VPN (Values, Priorities, and Neutralizer) Questionnaire. It’s my inner guidance system that leads me to my heart and soul’s destination. This is where I can fulfill my wishes through conscious decisions and consistent, committed actions.
The first time this worked for me was at age 23 when I started working at a picture frame shop. The shop was completely disorganized, and it seemed no one knew how to do their job. I wanted to leave, but I really liked the work and the people—so I had to make a decision.
“What was getting in the way of what I really wanted?”
I wanted to feel successful at my job and be respected. What was getting in the way of that was that the frame shop did not have an informed leader to solve the problems, which created a stressful environment.
“What would happen if…I do nothing? If I do what I usually do? Or if I do something out of the ordinary?
I knew if I did nothing, nothing would change. What I usually would do in this situation is leave the job to find another; however, I had a feeling I’d find another job with the same problem. If I did something out of the ordinary, it would be to become the leader the place desperately needed and create systems that helped us all work stress-free.
“Which decision would make me feel relieved and free?”
I had to sit with each previous answer and feel it out to answer this last question. I imagined myself succeeding at doing it another way and boldly taking charge. I realized that even though it would be difficult, it gave me what I truly wanted—my values.
Although the decision is hard because it requires standing up for ourselves, facing conflict, and stepping out of the status quo, it’s also easy because it opens us up to the truth of what works for us and frees us to do it our way. This can be a neutralizer to the nervous system, which is why many experience a feeling of relief when they finally make the right decision.
Once I decided I’d take the road less traveled and become the leader, I broke my decision down into small problems to be solved. I asked myself what would relieve the stress at the frame shop and help us all work seamlessly together so that our customers praised us instead of complaining. I created a step-by-step action plan that I would propose to the manager.
After doing this exercise back in my twenties, I found an inner guidance system that taught me how to know what I want, find my yes, and bravely make the small steps toward it. I challenge you to step into your brave self and make hard decisions easier, too!
Ray Beyor, owner of RAY Life Coaching, provides her clients with resources and practices that clarify their values, set steps toward their purpose, and master confidence while facing fears with patience, compassion, and accountability. Ray’s training in attachment theory, codependency, yoga, meditation, polyamory, consent work, dance, and astrology is used to guide her clients into their authentic and abundant selves.
To schedule a free call or learn more, please visit: www.reneebeyor.com.