Most of us have emotional triggers that we aren’t aware of until we blow up or “lose it”. These learned responses helped us to survive unpleasant situations (often in our childhood). Unfortunately, those very habits (cues/triggers, course of action or response, and rewards) that allowed us to survive in childhood now sabotage or hamper our growth and relationships.
I’m not talking about PTSD triggers: those are at another level, where it’s not merely a habit. These triggers actually require deeper assistance, such as therapy.
These habitual responses are survival tactics, often learned in our childhood. I adeptly overlook and sidestep the bigger issues when I ignore the hidden rewards of my habits. The slowing down of 2020 gave us much needed time to sit and do the inner work of looking at our survival tactics.
Even 2021 has shown me (especially on social media) how I respond to certain types of posts and comments. There are people that I have been tempted to block “for my peace of mind”. Nonetheless, my commitment to healing and working on myself continues. So, I decided that rather than block them (or engage or shoot back), I would make time to actually look at where I have lost my freedom to respond gracefully.
The more I delve into great decision-making, the more I realise the importance of alignment and self-awareness. If you want to make better decisions: know thyself!
It’s easy to think that a great decision is a choice of the best option available to us: “what do I think this might be?” But great choices take into account so much more than just good ideas.
In the corporate setting: they don’t just get the best immediate result for the bottom line or take into account your financial interests or marketing plan.
To make better decisions, find your compass.
There are many challenges to making great decisions, but some of them can be avoided with the right tools. Most of the tools I mention are ones you already know. Hopefully, you’ve already done this work. Better yet, you update and view this regularly. These tools to knowing yourself are values, passions & vision.
Recently, I was putting off some crucial decisions about how I wanted to move forward in my life. And it’s not that I haven’t been looking at the issues and contemplating what I wanted. But I felt stuck. Then, I came across a question in Wendy Craig-Purcell’s book “Ask Yourself This“, and realised my dilemma. I was mixing up problem-solving with decision-making.
Confused by all the suggestions that you should lead from the heart, but be careful following your heart? Of course, some recommend that the only way to find happiness is to follow your heart. Others caution that following your heart leads to disaster. What happens if you lead with compassion?
What is the role of safety and security when you leave your comfort zone into growth?
For me, the reality of many brave decisions of the past twenty years: there has been a strong influence of moving away from pain and fear! I have taken risks, pushed by pain. Because I feared the consequences of staying stuck, I moved! Sometimes towards my passion and transformation. Many times away from the discomfort of my comfort zone.
Looking back, I often wish that I had moved sooner, rather than waiting for the pain to grow and push me. I wish that I had moved towards my passion and dreams, allowing them to draw me – rather than allowing fear to fuel me.
I believe that it was Michael Beckwith that said:
Allow your pain to push you, until your passion/vision pulls you!