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Decisions: What does your heart tell you?

We all reach a crossroads, usually many times, in our lives. Decisions have to be made, directions have to be chosen. We all have our favorite method whether it’s logic, intuition or heart based.

My experience with logic is that it’s great if you have all the facts, lousy when you don’t, and even worse when you think you do but you don’t. Intuition is priceless when you don’t have all the facts. It fills in the gaps where your knowledge is lacking and helps you make a better “educated guess.”

Where does the heart come in? Heart based decisions happen when you have an emotional stake in the outcome, and not always, but usually stem from fear. Fear, often called by some of its other names (worry, stress, anxiety, shyness) is so common in our lives we often don’t recognize it for what it is.

What about decisions stemming from love? Hmm…that’s a tough one. Too many times I’ve seen “love” act to cover another emotion like. Control and insecurity are the two most common reasons.

One example: You love your children and don’t want them to get hurt so you make a decision that seems based on love but it’s really based on controlling the situation and your feelings of insecurity that they won’t make the right decision themselves. I’m not saying stop parenting and leave your children to flounder through life on their own. But stop and consider with thoughts like these: At this age, how much of this decision can my children participate in? Will my child experience more personal growth from my help or am I hindering their personal growth? Sometimes we have to step in and take action to protect our children – that’s part of our job as a parent. But often we can find ways to help them grow if we let them share in the process.

Another example: You love your job and you love the people you work with – hey, it does happen! – but you’ve been offered a different opportunity. Your “heart” seems to be telling you to stay, but you’d better check to make sure it’s not your insecurity clinging to the known factors of your current job before you turn down the offer.

So should you listen to your heart in making decisions?

That’s one of those “Yes, but…” kind of answers. Yes you should, but…take the time to figure out what your heart is trying to tell you. When you listen to your heart, you’re open to discovering some of your biggest opportunities for personal growth and awareness.

Let’s look at some possible results from the examples above.

You become aware that you haven’t trained your children to make their own age-appropriate decisions and take steps to improve your parenting skills. You and your children both benefit. Or you bring your child into the decision making process and discover that they’re wiser than you thought.

For that opportunity that was offered? You might sit down to evaluate the situation your current job and discover you’ve been trading growth for comfort and have become stagnant. You can then make a decision about taking the current offer or finding ways within your current job to grow and develop your skills. Either way, your heart has helped open your eyes.

Wrapping up: Remember that even though you have a favorite decision making method, don’t neglect the others. Take advantage of logic, intuition and your heart in making your decisions and you’ll get results that take you where you want to go faster and on a path that is designed just for you.

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42 Responses to Decisions: What does your heart tell you?

  1. Hi Teresa,
    What comes to mind as I read this post is the ying/yang sign. Balance seems to be the answer in the decision making process. Yes, It’s great to follow our hearts, (yin) but then we need to rationalize (yang). I find that usually the first thought I have is the one that I choose after weighing a decision.
    Thank you so much for this great post. I have to make a decision which is pretty big right now, and had no time to really relax and think it through. Now I’m going to do it. I realize from reading this that I am procrastinating.
    Thanks again
    Donna
    Donna Merrill´s last blog ..Why Do You Need A Tribe?

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    Teresa Reply:

    You’re welcome, Donna! And great point – balance is essential in every aspect of our lives.

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  2. Wow, Teresa I was truly moved by this post. It is eloquently states simply all the factors that come into our decision making process. I love your use of examples so right away I can see how to utilize this sage advice into my life.

    Yes, balance and using both the right and left sides of our brains and most important taking a holistic approach to living life.

    Keep it coming.

    Faith

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    Teresa Reply:

    Happy to hear you liked the post, Faith! Thanks for the nice compliments!

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  3. Hi Teresa,
    Boy, I can relate to this post! Decisions made from the head vs. ones made from the heart are very different in nature (and outcome). Having been immersed in a book these past couple of weeks that explores the nature of human behavior when it comes to being rational vs. irrational, I am even more attuned to what you are writing about here. How do we decide to do the things we do?

    With the biggies — relationships, homes, careers, kids — taking more time to weigh all the possibilities may be in our best interest. However, sometimes that initial gut instinct is the right one and we just have to trust we are doing the right thing, no matter how scary it feels.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story about this topic!

    Mary Lou
    Mary Lou Kayser´s last blog ..Predictably Irrational: The Keys to Your Success May Be the Opposite of What You Think

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    Teresa Reply:

    Agreed! That gut instinct / intuition is extremely important. Especially in making decisions that can’t wait for a long evaluation.

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  4. Teresa,
    Coming to decisions based on your heart, intuition and your head can bring such wonderful experiences. I like Donna’s approach using both to weigh all the factors. Ying and yang – that works!

    Great opening for conversation. You got my heart and soul moving with this :)
    Val
    Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Have You Started Your Bucket List?

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    Teresa Reply:

    Glad to hear it, Val!

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  5. Too many times I’ve seen “love” act to cover another emotion like. Control and insecurity are the two most common reasons.

    That is so true! Great insights in this post!
    Kevin M.´s last blog ..Why me Lord?

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Kevin!

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  6. Thanks Teresa for all of these reminders. Some times we jump and act before thinking through the decision fully. Take more time, breathe, evaluate and make sound solid decisions for the task at hand and I’ll be better off. Thanks.
    Bill Cowan´s last blog ..A Sleepy View of My World

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    Teresa Reply:

    You’re welcome, Bill! The thing I love about having so many blogging friends is the reminders I get!

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  7. I am reading at the moment a good book by Zig Ziglar where he talks about reacting verses responding. Reacting is a flash in a pan. Whereas responding reflects consideration of what is being said before acting. When it comes to parenting we are always being challenged. I don’t know if it’s insecurity, but it’s certainly a natural instinct to protect your young. And yes, you raise a good point about letting our “protection” get in the way of allowing them to discover on their own… thoughtful post …

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Is there anything more difficult than being a parent!!?!! I suppose it was insecurity for me…”did I teach them well enough…” kind of thoughts. Luckily for me, they’re all grown now and I’m in the grandma phase!

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  8. Teresa, it is hard sometimes to makes sound decisions when your head tells you one thing and your heart tells you another. I know for me when I do face that, I always just take a few minutes to myself and meditate, I ask the question clear my mind and wait for the answer or some suggestion to come to me. It slows me down and helps me make the wisest decision for me. Great post.

    Lori
    Lori Robertson´s last undefined ..Response cached until Wed 9 @ 15:35 GMT (Refreshes in 51 Minutes)

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    Teresa Reply:

    I hope everyone that reads this post scrolls down and finds your comment, Lori! Thanks for sharing this important technique.

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  9. Teresa,

    Very cool post. We all make decisions everyday. Some of them not so big… and occasionally we have to make the big ones. We love the way you clarify for us some of the factors to consider when making a decision, whether big or small.

    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com
    Pat and Lorna Shanks´s last blog ..Jimmy Kimmel Vs. The Coolest Couple – It Was War… On the Twitter Battleground!

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Pat and Lorna! Those everyday decisions add up, don’t they? Reminds me that small decision every day start to form habits – for good or bad. If I decide to eat that cookie…

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  10. Theresa,

    Great point of view here, especially in regards to the “whys” of our heart based decisions. I have never really considered it until just reading your post, but there are definitely some heart based decisions I have made in the past that were really made by my ego trying to stay “safe”.

    Will definitely have to take that thought into consideration the next time I have a big decision to make. Thanks for the insight!

    Kathy

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    Teresa Reply:

    You’re welcome, Kathy! The heart can get us in trouble, but what would we do without! Comes down to balance again.

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  11. Aloha Teresa, gosh very inspiration and touching! thanks for sharing. Lani

    PS..came across your info., from Katie’s blog, glad I did. Stop by sometime and leave a sweet note and/or tweet. Mahalo :)
    Lani Kee´s last blog ..Popular Hosting First Month One Cent

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by, Lani! Glad you liked the post.

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  12. Aloha Teresa,

    I love how you break down the steps to deciding based on your heart or your logic. It’s such a step by step process isn’t it?

    Thank you for articulating it so clearly! Wow! :)

    Aloha,
    Kellie :)
    Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..7 Essential Characteristics Leading To Success – Charice’s Story

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Aloha Kellie! Thanks for stopping by. I LOVED your post on Charice’s story!

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  13. Hi Teresa,

    I love this post… the heart never lies, if we only choose to listen. I’d have to say that given a choice about decisions I’ve made in the past, had I had this wisdom before… if I had listened to my heart, instead of my head… I think, or rather I know… things would’ve been a whole lot different!
    Chris McCargar´s last blog ..Choose Today

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Chris! It’s all about balance and finally understanding what’s the best choice.

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  14. Thank you so much Teresa , this is an excellent post, and really enjoyed reading it and being reminded how I make my decisions!!! Truly inspiring , I can relate to when our boys were young. How we worked to enpower them to make decisions that would best serve them. Its interesting that as parents as in our life there often is a real need to control situations or so we think. There is always costs and benefits to the every decision we make , those made from the heart and from our intuition are usually a decisions that will benefit and serve us.
    Kaye Flack´s last blog ..Why does the Empowered Tribe Culture ROCK? IS IT WORTH PROTECTING???

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    Teresa Reply:

    “cost and benefits” That hits the nail on the head for making decisions in general, doesn’t it? It’s all about weighing the options. Thanks, Kaye!

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  15. Wow. I love this post Teresa!
    I am guilty of not always evaluating and ‘seeing’ a situation before I make a decision. So often I have to make so many decisions quickly in the moment, that I let whatever emotion I am feeling at that moment win. This was such an eye opener to step back and look more at my heart and the root of my decisions.

    Thanks Teresa! :)

    Danielle
    Danielle Zack´s last blog ..How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Relationships

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Danielle! It can be really hard when there is so much going on and the need for a decision is NOW! Or seems like now. Stepping back is like counting to 10. My dad always reinforced counting to 10 before you say anything.

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  16. Excellent post, Teresa.
    Thanks for throwing light on the difference between taking the time to listen in to our hearts, and acting on the emotional impulse of the moment. Is easy to trip up on this subject:)
    Also like your recommendation about using a combination of logic, intuition and listening in to the heart as making for more appropriate decisions.
    Thanks for the great insights,
    Johneal

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Johneal! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Great summary!

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  17. As the old saying goes…it is better “to sleep on it”…Thanks for sharing.

    ~Clint
    Clint White´s last blog ..What It Means To Work From Home

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    Teresa Reply:

    Oh yes! Especially the big decisions.

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  18. Teresa,
    Great thoughts you provide here. I admit I am a heart based decision maker, but in doing so I am also very self aware of the factors influencing my heart. I always give consideration to logic and ensure I carefully examine all points before making my final decision. For the most part though, the heart wins out – and I am pleased to say, I’ve never regretted a heart based decision. :-) Maybe I’m one of the “lucky ones” !!
    Krista
    Krista Abbott´s last blog ..Communication: The Crucial Component to Your Home, Your Business, Your Life

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Hi Krista! I don’t see it as luck. You described the reason for your success – “self aware of the factors influencing my heart.” Congratulations on your success with this principle!

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  19. Teresa,

    This is my first visit to your blog and I am very impressed. This post is so very powerful. Many time we just take the easy way out in the decision making process, but to truly grow we must learn to look inside to see where our heart and soul are in regard to our mind. Balance is the key to me in living a peaceful but productive life, but still allowing myself the opportunity to grow.

    Thanks.

    Scott
    Scott Scales´s last blog ..Are you wasting time on blog comments?

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    Teresa Reply:

    Very smart, Scott. The concept of balance comes up again and again in life. It’s essential!

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  20. Teressa,

    Great post. From a guy who is fairly pragmatic (probably the result of my military background), this reminds me to not discount my heart in matters. Thank you for your insightful post.

    Blessings,

    John

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks! And thank you, John for your military service.

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  21. Hi Teresa,

    I love your thoughts on logic, intuition and heart in regards to making decicions.
    Great examples to make a point about it.
    Good point about the ‘love act’ which covers control and insecurity.
    I think if we make decisions which feel good and benefit us, then they will benefit others.
    We have nothing to give if we don’t take care of our needs.

    Love and Light
    from
    Yorinda
    Yorinda´s last blog ..Joy is the Goal

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  22. I love this post Theresa! Your body never lies. The mind does all the time.

    The heart is the center of all intelligence. It gives blood to itself first then sends information to the brain through blood. That is why people can live without a brain but not a heart.

    If people trusted their hearts instead of their minds, we would see miracles everyday.

    To Your Genius,
    Eiji
    Eiji Morishita´s last blog ..Speaking Skills- Way to Wealth Top 5 Benefits

    [Reply]

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