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Can't make up your mind? Try feeling your way through

Can't make up your mind? Try feeling your way through
Photo by Madison Oren / Unsplash

One of the misconceptions of decision-making is that we think it sits squarely in the arena of a thinking problem.

There are numerous mental models, frameworks, and every way to help us think through and decide on the best course of action.

While this is helpful in many ways, thinking isn't where the road ends.

Why our feelings matter

A few years ago, I decided whether or not to join a company when I became stuck in a logic loop.

I could think of all the reasons it was a good idea and why it wasn't. Yet, no matter what loopholes I saw, I could counter them. And no matter how many positives I pointed out, I was also the biggest devil's advocate.

There was no winning in this one.

To get out of this stalemate, the career coach I was working with gave me an exercise wherein I had to embody a decision. I wasn't allowed to think about ways why it would work or otherwise. I was only allowed to feel my way through.

And it worked!

It didn't feel right when I chose and let that sit in my body. To this day, I know that I dodged a bullet by listening to my feelings.

Thinking is good, with feelings is better

Yes, you can call this feeling intuition.

I used to think intuition was some supernatural phenomenon. But after knowing that 80% of communication is non-verbal, it makes sense. Intuition is, therefore, our body's brain picking up on all the non-verbal cues.

It just takes our minds a minute to catch up. Sometimes, not at all.

So if you think you've made up your mind about something, take a moment to feel your way through—you'll come out better for it.