Making powerful decisions with ease
The past year has been full of twists and turns in both my personal life and my business life.
The most profound shift is that Louis and I are expecting our first child this November! (There’s no way to make that announcement in a way that truly reflects its significance, is there?)
But that definitely hasn’t been the only upheaval this year.
Having moved states a little over a year ago, adjusting to my new life in Massachusetts while also building up my coaching business wasn’t simple to begin with. Being fully self-employed was not what I expected and I found that anxiety, perfectionism, and being my own boss did not mix that well.
I thought about getting a part time job to give me more structure. But then I had a miscarriage last fall and needed to turn my attention inward to give myself time to process and grieve. (Side note: If you or someone you know ever needs to talk about pregnancy loss, please know that I’m here for you.)
I gratefully got pregnant again early this year, but the first trimester completely knocked me out! My functionality was super low for a couple of months, and by the time the second trimester came around, I couldn’t bring myself to return to the level of productivity I had engaged in before.
It’s been a year-long lesson in letting go of control and being present with what is.
But in spite of all of these unexpected events, I am actually experiencing more abundance and clarity in my life than I’ve ever experienced before.
Moments of certainty around big and small decisions, in particular, have been particularly intense. This is no small thing; real clarity, when you know inside your bones that you are headed in the right direction, is pretty rare!
So I’ve started paying attention to how that certainty comes about for me. And I want to share my observations with you so you can get clarity on some of the complex parts of your life, too.
Most recently, I made the decision to pause my efforts in proactively building my business. I’m still accepting clients (though time is running out to do a coaching program with me before my maternity leave, because I need to wrap up with folks by October!), but I am not doing my usual work of outreach, community workshops, and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
Here’s how it happened:
Early this spring, after the worst of the first trimester passed, I started to feel better physically and mentally, like I could actually take care of my basic needs on a day-to-day basis. With that improvement came the predictable internal pressure to “get back to work”. But every time I tried to rally energy to pitch a workshop or follow up with a potential client, I just couldn’t do it.
I spent a couple of months blaming myself for this lack of motivation, even as I acknowledged that building my business felt like trying to grow a second baby at the same time as growing the one inside me.
One day I was catching up with a friend and said to her, somewhat jokingly, “I’m pregnant so…I’m not really working on my coaching right now.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized that it wasn’t a joke at all. It was a decision. A decision that my body already knew, because the second I acknowledged it, everything made more sense.
And so I said the same thing to my husband, Louis. And to my therapist. And to my sister on the phone.
And slowly but surely I allowed myself to let go of what I thought I needed to do and to figure out what this time in my life could look like without that pressure.
The process of acting on that decision hasn’t always been easy (capitalism really makes it feel like if you aren’t working for money you aren’t using your time appropriately!), but the certainty that this was the right decision has stayed strong.
There have been multiple moments like these.
Moments of powerful decisions and letting go - like realizing that I want the option for medication during childbirth and closing my newly established Intentional Change Community during that difficult first trimester. And many smaller moments of decision in between.
Each of these moments has felt like a profound “click” in my brain and a weight off my shoulders. And every one of them involved being in a safe enough space that I could say what I was afraid to say, being received with non-judgement, noticing that feeling of the “click”, and letting myself explore the possibility that the click offered.
I’d like to offer you one way to experiment with this intuitive decision-making in your life.
Pick one possible decision (e.g. if you’re trying to figure out whether you need to find a new job, pick “I’m looking for a new job” or “I’m sticking with my current job for the time being”) - don’t overthink it!
Talk to a couple of people as if you’ve already made that decision. Start saying it out loud: “I am currently looking for a new job.” This might feel safer with strangers or it might feel easier with people you are close to, either one works.
Notice how it feels when you say that out loud. Is there relief? Does anything click into place for you?
If you feel that click of inspiration, relief, clarity…that’s the decision for you. Trust your body’s reaction and that sensation, however vague, of something making sense.
Your brain has been doing tons of work behind the scenes, getting ready for you to come to the conclusion that’s been brewing all this time.
If you don’t feel that sense of your body and brain and words aligning, then you might need a little more time to come to a decision. That’s okay, too. Give yourself space and time for your brain and body to continue deliberating. And then try again!
It’s also possible that, like me, you didn’t even realize that you were trying to make a decision. I didn’t know how conflicted I was feeling about actively trying to build my business until I came to the conclusion that I was taking a break. I didn’t know how much pressure I was putting on myself to have an unmedicated birth until I realized that wasn’t what I wanted.
The important moment here is when you notice that relief, when something clicks even if you aren’t sure why. Trusting that feeling may be the most significant act of letting go you can do.