How often do you trust your intuition when making choices in your life? I think that too often when we make decisions, we can get into our heads and overthink them. If we practice slowing down and paying attention, we can feel what is in our best interest, in our highest good; our truth. One of the things that keeps us from trusting ourselves when we intuitively know the answer is our concern for the opinion of others (opinion of others and at times, even approval from others). So I offer this practice to begin the process of discerning what is true for you, and how to move forward.
At the end of the day, whose opinion do you respect and value? I love Brené Brown’s work, and she shared a practice that I adopted and go back to when I find myself doubting what feels right for me because of someone else’s thoughts or feelings about it. Brené shared that she had once drawn a square on a piece of paper and had filled that space with the names of people whose opinion she really and truly cared about. It was a short list, but an important list for her to go back to at times. The square is a small space and it serves to show us that allowing too much space for someone else’s opinion might not be the most helpful to us.
The practice is this – when you can catch yourself thinking about what everyone else might think or feel about your choices, go back to the list: are these people whose opinion you are stuck on part of your list? Chances are that most of the time, they’re not. And so you take a deep breath and recognize this. Try to be aware of it happening, rather than sitting in judgment of it.
My list of people whose opinion matters to me is on a Post It note, and I share this version of the practice with my clients. I have learned that it serves as a gentle reminder that while I value the opinion of others, I must make the choices that feel right to me. The people on my list will understand, and if they have a hard time, I can teach them that I am practicing trusting my intuition to guide me in the right direction. In time, this becomes easier and easier to do. For me, the best part is that once I’ve decided, I learn that it was the right choice all along. And that feels so good!
So next time you wonder, ask yourself: Is this in my highest good? Only you know the answer to that. Trust that you know.