How many choices have you made in your life that you later regretted? Probably too many to count if you’re like most people. While you can’t wave a magic wand that will give you the ability to always make the best choices, you can greatly improve your odds.
We simply are not consciously aware of everything shaping our choices. Most of what affects our choices happens outside of our conscious awareness. Our challenge is to trust that which comes from deep inside us and beyond us.
There are two critical questions to ask when you are about to make a choice.
- Are you aware of all the possible options before you make the choice?
- Are you aware of all that goes into your making your choice and what may be guiding it?
These two questions are the heart and soul of discovering more choices that will work out the best for you and avoid ones you later regret.
Are you aware of all your options?
Too often, we see less options than actually exist. Our natural tendency is to focus in on two or three options that seem most obvious to us. All too quickly we lock down on those and block out other possible ones that float into our space.
How many times have you made a choice you regretted only to discover later that there were other options you hadn’t even considered? The first way you reduce choices you regret is by making sure you have maximized your awareness about all the possible options.
You may not like some of those options. They could initially look quite unpleasant so you discard them. When you dig deeper into these, sometimes you’ll learn that they aren’t so bad or they can help you discover even more options you hadn’t considered.
Are you are aware of the role your unconscious brain plays in your choices?
80% of our brains reasoning power occurs in our unconscious brain outside of our awareness. That portion of our brain can evaluate thousands of pieces of information and options at the same time much like a super computer. This is where your greatest logic, reasoning, and analysis power exist.
Our conscious brain can only think in a linear fashion and could never handle that much information. Yet, when our unconscious brain arrives at a conclusion, it may only send us a brief phrase or feeling without any explanation as to how it figured that out.
We may not trust these brief thoughts and feelings because we did not consciously experience all the information considered and all the logic that went into them. So we sometimes brush aside these ideas or guidance.
We prefer to trust what we can see, hear taste, touch and smell… what we are consciously aware of. We can doubt that which seems to come out of thin air even though its actually coming from the most powerful thinking apparatus in existence.
These insights, flashes, ah ha moments, feelings, inclinations, senses of something might be based on a level of rational thought way beyond what we know consciously. Once you understand where they really come from, you can grow to trust them and act on them with more confidence.
You can actually increase how many options you are aware of and insights about those choices that your unconscious brain sends to your conscious awareness.
5 steps to help your unconscious send you more options and more guidance about your choices.
- Never restrict your options or lock down on what you see in front of you . Always keep looking for more. That tells you brain to keep working on it.
- Change everyday habits and routines such as the order you do things in the morning or the route you drive to work, school or shopping. This shakes up your cells so your brain can find more ideas and insights.
- Change your experiences by doing things you haven’t done or done in a long time. This alters your perspective in a way that opens up new awareness.
- Stuff your brain with new information by reading a lot even about things that have nothing to do with the situation you face. This information goes into memory so it moves cells around and your brain will use this in its analysis.
- Stop focusing on your problem and turn your attention to something unrelated for a while. This gives your brain a breather to work through all this information in a very concentrated way.
When you do all these things, you will suddenly discover new options, new insights and new perspectives popping into your conscious awareness. The more you do this, the more your unconscious delivers.
Over time, you will learn to trust what your unconscious brain gives you.
The choices you regret will diminish and the choices that work out the best will increase.