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How to make a decision. Step-by-step guide.

To make a decision means to find a point of support. Before this moment, it may feel confusing and anxious, even up to the point of panic. This is the feeling of uncertainty, in which energy accumulates for making a decision.

Photo: Julia Kuderova ft. Midjourney

It is important not to rush through this moment of uncertainty with a panicked "AAAAA!!!" and not to agree to the first option that comes to hand as a way out of this anxiety.

What should I do?

First of all, BREATHE. Literally, notice your breathing: how your chest expands and contracts, how your nose whistles, how the cool air enters inside and the warm air exits outside.

Don't rush. If possible, take a pause - preferably an indefinite one, like "I'll think about it", "let's see how it goes", "time will tell". This pause is not only for you. It is also for the field (there is such a component in Gestalt psychology) that has not yet formed. Therefore, there is no need to rush it.

During this pause, start paying attention to the immediate reality around you instead of exhausting self-reflection, draining your brain, and having a quiet panic: the walls in your room right now, the gentle breeze, the taste of the cake you are eating, whether you like the sound of the voice next to you... and so on. That's all.

Try to feel yourself in this space. What's happening to you right now? Are you just feeling anxious or are you experiencing some other emotions as well? Can you recognize them? It could be sadness about the past, outrage or anger, hope, or disgust at the situation that awaits your decision.

The question to ask yourself is "What's happening to me?" And the answer to it should not be "I'm fine/dumb/bad," but "I'm scared/angry/happy," in other words, it should be about your feelings - all the ones you can recognize at the moment.

If you've managed to listen to yourself, move on to the next step.

“What is happening to me in this situation?”

Example: "I feel fear and disgust after the interview because I definitely didn't like what was happening there, but I'm afraid I won't find a new job. I'm already panicking in advance that I'll have to work at a job I hate if I agree now. I also feel guilty towards my loved ones that I can't just jump to a new workplace right away."

And the final two steps are: "How do I want to feel?" in relation to your situation. In the case of an interview, it might sound like this: "I want to enjoy the conversation. I want to feel confident in my abilities and joy that I'll be able to work in a great team." Once you've formulated your true desire, listen to yourself again. How has your breathing changed? How is your body responding? What about your anxiety? This is an important step that usually generates energy for decision-making.

The final step is "How can I give this to myself?", in which we usually choose either our own needs or the needs of others. Neither option is good or bad, as it's not about evaluation, but rather the price we pay for each decision. In the case of an interview, it may be more valuable for you to feel like you belong, rather than forcing yourself to work in a job you hate - and then the answer would be "Look for other options." Or it could be "Not right now, I need money more, I'll endure it for the sake of my loved ones for a while" - and this will be your own significant and conscious decision. The checking question at this step "Is it worth it?" assumes benefits and risks from the decision made - and your answer yes/no will be the very support in your new forming reality.

Whichever decision you make, it is not a concrete slab, nor an earth's axis, nor anything else of the "monumental" and "timeless" nature that comes to mind. Your decision is your personal starting point, a new landmark in the world that you can rely on. And only you have the full right to change it at any time to any more suitable one.


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