Have you ever made a decision that didn’t turn out the way you hoped? Perhaps you felt as if you had failed, yet again. Were you repeating a pattern of behavior and perhaps sabotaging yourself because of a limiting belief? Were you making a decision based on your feelings and intuition or based on what others were saying?
One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) is, “There is no failure, only feedback.” As a recovering perfectionist, I really like that saying. I had allowed myself to get to a point where I hesitated to do anything out of fear of making a mistake. There are some other reasons for my having gotten that way, but suffice it to say, that was how I was. More than 20 years ago, when studying NLP, I began to realize more about why I was behaving the way I was and about my limiting beliefs and their impact on my life. I realized that I could change by changing what I believed about myself. There is new science to back this all up in a big way, but at the time, I just had a sense (call it an intuition) that I really could change myself and my life by changing my thoughts and beliefs.
I was right, and my life changed for the better as my beliefs about myself changed. Along the way, I still made some choices based on old, restricting beliefs, and as I looked back at those decisions, I realized that none of them were based on my true feelings and intuitions. They were based on “shoulds” and fears. I wasn’t quite at the point I could simply shrug off those decisions and go on, because I still felt as if I had failed, somehow. But the great thing was, I did realize that I could make new decisions based on what I knew to be right for me (based on my intuition, my heart) rather than staying stuck in the consequences of the former decisions. I began to realize that I could change my mind and my decisions to ones that would support what I really wanted.
Each decision that we make results in some information to analyze. We don’t really need to do much analysis to assess certain outcomes. It isn’t like a scientific experiment or an engineering project or mechanical process when we have to measure outcomes with sophisticated equipment and do statistical analysis and calculate standard deviations. Many decisions, likely most decisions, can be assessed rather quickly and easily with how we feel, how much joy we have in our lives after the results are in. Few if any good decisions will result in our feeling miserable or being unhappy. This is not to make light of making certain tough, life altering decisions. It is simply to say that we have the ability to make decisions based on what is best for us and others (for the highest good of all), and the results can be assessed rather easily by paying attention to our bodies and by listening to our hearts.
It is not a failure when we make decisions that don’t turn out exactly the way we would want. Doing so allows us to learn, to grow, to become more of who we are. It allows us to learn to pay more attention to our selves – to our hearts, our intuitions, and to that which brings us joy. So when you make a decision and it doesn’t bring the joy you thought it would, make another decision. You can change your mind.
All the best, always,