Make better decisions using awareness techniques

The control illusion

Do you need to know all the facts and possible outcomes before making a decision? Actually you can’t , the dynamics of life are too complex to oversee all possibilities. It is a common misconception that we make decisions mainly on rational grounds

It is a common misconception that we make decisions mainly on rational grounds.

There is a significant part in our apparently rational decision making process that subconsciously gets influenced by our emotions. Our advertisement industry knows that, that is why most commercials are geared towards appealing to our emotions. They aim to influence our decisions through limbic emotions such as fear and pleasure.

These emotions result in a decision that might not always be the best one for us. that is why In business we put great value on the fact based decision making approach. However also in business we regularly face situations that are too complex to completely oversee and where we don’t have all the facts.

Intuitive knowing

Sometimes we are in that state of mind where we know the right course of action without clearly being able to explain why, it is that gut feeling. This is what we call intuition and although often referred to as an emotion,Intuition Is a skill that can be developed.

Intuition is a skill that develops

It is not much different from how we develop physical skills in sports. At first we exercise with awareness, deliberately and effortfully trying to control our movements. Overtime it becomes more and more effortless to apply the skill, up to the point where we can routinely apply the skill without mostly even being aware of it.

We “intuitively” know the right movement. Intuition is our subconscious mind that recognises a situation and ‘instinctively’ knows the appropriate course of action using previous experiences.

Self awareness

Intuition is a great skill, it can improve the quality and speed of our decisions by tapping into our subconscious. But it can also easily be confused with fight or flight impulses. This is where the awareness techniques are useful.

In a similar way that we can deconstruct our movement by slowing down and tracing back a movement through the mechanics of our body, we can also deconstruct our feeling by slowing down and reflecting on them.

There is nothing to be lost, only to be learned

Through reflection you can find out whether the ‘gut feeling’ is based on intuitive knowing or that it is a masked limbic emotion. When you discover it to be a fight or flight impulse , that awareness still enables you to make better decisions. I invite you to try it, think of a challenge in your life or work,… take a deep breath and take a moment to reflect on it. There is nothing to be lost, only to be learned

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