When it comes to making decisions that positively affect your life, there is only one thing to do. First, ask yourself how you feel about the opportunity. Do you get butterflies because you’re excited or does your gut feel heavy or weighed down, as if you’ve got a feeling that something bad is about to happen?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell how you feel about something. Perhaps you feel great about it, but it’s far outside your comfort zone so you have a lot of fear attached to it. Maybe your heart is telling you to go for it, but that means you’ll be placing hardship on someone else – and that causes feelings of guilt.

So how do you make important decisions that positively affect your life?

Grab a pen and paper and go to a quiet place where you are happy, comfortable and will not be disturbed. Light a candle, burn your favorite incense, turn on your favorite music – or sit in complete silence. Just do what feels comfortable.

At the top of the page, write the opportunity in question form. Start the question with, “Should I…..” or “Is it right for me to…” Read the question over a few times and then close your eyes. The purpose of this exercise is to remove visual distractions and move your attention from your head to your gut. Sit silently and wait to see what feelings come up for you.

If your gut feels light and full of excitement, this may be an ideal opportunity for you.

If your gut feels heavy, low or uncomfortable, it’s probably not the right thing for you at this time – and you pretty much have your answer. However, I invite you to skip down to the questions below to satisfy the brain’s desire for logical reasoning.

Trusting your decision on emotion alone can be a lot to ask for most of us. Although we are each born with a sort of emotional navigational system to help us make the right choice, you will not find “Learning to Listen to Your Gut” as part of your curriculum in high school or college. Rarely are we taught how to listen to our emotional navigational system, so as adults we just have to use it until it becomes second nature.

Your emotional navigational system is rooted in your “gut” and acts as the sort of sensitive, emotionally based female. Your brain on the other hand, is like the typical male: it is only concerned with logical reasoning. In order to rest easy with your decision, you have to satisfy both aspects of your being.

3 Questions to Ask Before Making Important Decisions

Question 1. Does this opportunity align with my short-term goals? (Circle one)

Yes No

If the answer is yes, continue to Question 2.
If the answer is no, go no further. If it doesn’t align with your short-term goals, it definitely won’t align with your long-term goals. Remember, you are only going to take steps that lead you closer to your goals – no exceptions.

Question 2. Does this align with my long-term goals? (Circle one)

Yes No

If the answer is yes, continue to Question 3.
If the answer is no, this is not the right time to pursue this opportunity.

Question 3. Am I making this decision from faith or fear? (Circle one)

Faith Fear

This is where you tie your feelings to your logical reasoning. What are you saying to yourself when you think about this opportunity – are your statements based on faith or fear? These are not necessarily things you are saying aloud – these may be thoughts running around in your head. Here are a few examples.

Statements based on faith
“I’m not sure how this will come together, but I know and believe it will work.”
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for an opportunity like this.”
“I’m a little nervous, but I know I can do it!”

Statements based on fear
“If I don’t make this work, I could lose everything.”
“I’ve got to find a way to take care of my family, I hope this works.”
“I’m desperate; I’ll take anything I can get.”

See the difference? Faith statements are based in words like, “I know I can – I know it will work.” Fear statements are based in words like, “I’m desperate – I could lose everything.”

Never, ever make important decisions from fear. If you cannot find a way to feel good about the opportunity, let it go. An opportunity that is a better fit will come along. Decision-making should always explore both emotional and logical aspects to get the full picture. The trick is learning to distinguish between your feelings and justifications, and then trust that you made the right decision. Next time you have an important decision to make, ask yourself these three questions to help you make the right choice for your success.

Author's Bio: 

© Anne M. Bachrach. All rights reserved.
Anne M. Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has 23 years of experience training and coaching. The objective is to work less, make more money, and have a more balanced life. Anne is the author of the book, Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule!, and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives. Go to http://www.accountabilitycoach.com/landing/ and get 3 FREE gifts including a special report on 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organized, and Achieving Your Goals Now. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life. (http://www.accountabilitycoach.com/coaching-store/inner-circle-store/).