I used to be caught in indecision about nearly everything in my life. I even had a poster in my dorm room in college that was a quote from Harvard professor Harvey Cox:

"Not to decide is to decide.”

I put it up as kind of a joke about how indecisive I was and my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) just rolled this eyes.

The truth is, not deciding IS a decision. Life keeps moving forward and if you don’t make a decision, one will naturally be made for you. And that is the very thing that keeps you stuck. Stuck in a bad relationship, an unfulfilling career, unhealthy habits or destructive thought patterns. Fear of making the wrong decision is what causes people to stay in those stuck places, never living out their true potential and highest joy.

So, what can you do to make good decisions without the fear and doubt? The answer lies with tuning in to your intuition and higher guidance. It’s there for all of us, if we learn to pay attention to it.

What is intuition?

Researchers at Leeds University say intuition is a very real psychological process where the brain uses past experiences and cues from the self and the environment to make a decision. The decision happens so quickly that it doesn’t register on a conscious level. It’s the way the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind and is a real “gut” feeling.

What is higher guidance?

Higher guidance is your connection to your higher self, or soul—to universal wisdom. Your higher self is the authentic you—the pure expression of love, joy and wisdom. It’s that larger, spiritual part of you that is eternal and connects you to the whole. You are always connected to it—you just need to pay attention to it! You can access guidance from your higher self with practice and feel confident in your decisions.

How to hone your intuition and connect to your higher guidance:

1. Create quiet time where you won’t be distracted. Disconnect from your phone, computer and interruptions for 15 to 20 minutes every day. Calm yourself down by focusing on your breathing, following it with your mind’s eye into your lungs, and back up and out. Allow thoughts to come up and drift away without judgement. Just “be” in the present moment. As you practice this, you’ll begin to feel a sense of relief from the bombardment of “noise” that we experience throughout the day. You’ll be able to quiet yourself more quickly and easily. The only way to hear the inner voice of your higher self is in stillness and silence. You can imagine your higher self as a warm, loving energy, or any image that works for you. Ask your question as you sit down, then let it go. The conscious mind, or ego, will try to answer if you are trying to “figure it out.” Let go of any efforting. You may receive an answer as you are sitting, or be led to something that is the perfect solution later on.

2. Be open to how you receive guidance. It can come in the form of feelings, words, images, or a sudden “knowing.” It can be in the form of several people recommending a certain book, or a seeming coincidence. Your higher self will always feel like love, lightness, or happiness. If you are feeling tension, anxiety or fear, that’s your ego talking and not true guidance.

3. Pay attention to your dreams. As you are falling asleep, ask for guidance on a question or unresolved issue you may have. Your dreams are your brain’s way of processing information from the day. It’s also a time when you are offering no resistance and both the subconscious and super conscious can most easily connect with you. Keep a journal and pen by your bedside so you can write down any insights immediately upon wakening, before they fade. Journaling is also a good way of gaining clarity if the dream images don’t make obvious sense right away.

4. Trust your “gut” feelings. Research has shown that emotion and intuition have a physical presence in the gut. There is a network of neurons, sometimes called the “second brain” and known scientifically as the enteric nervous system lining the gut. When you get a contracted feeling in your gut that something is wrong, trust it and when you get a thrill of “this is it!” trust that.

In my own experience, I’ve received guidance as a feeling, or a tingling or jolt of energy as a confirmation to an idea. On occasion, I’ve received a sentence that popped into my head before I was even done asking the question. I could tell by the quality that it was higher guidance and not my ego talking. However it shows up for you will be just right!

Author's Bio: 

Estra Roell is a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, certified Life Purpose Coach, Advanced PSYCH-K® facilitator and Happiness Generator Facilitator. Estra helps clients get in touch with their passions and purpose and assists them to uncover and remove any blockages or old patterns that may be holding them back from living a life of joy, purpose and abundance. Estra is also a co-author of the books "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career" and "How to Create a Rich, Successful and Fulfilling Life." She's the author of the e-book, "4 Keys to Living Your Life Purpose." Visit her website at http://www.americaslifepurposecoach.com/ to receive her free report on "Visioning Your Purpose and Heading Toward it Today.” Join her Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourlifepurpose/