What is guiding you, your head or your heart?
What happens in the process of sorting out options and determining what action you must take in your relationships? What must be considered when you examine your options and select your preference? Do you trust yourself and your choices? What happens internally when you feel stuck and cannot make a choice? Lets explore the anatomy of choice and decision when applied to a relationship.
The definition of choice is: to select freely from a series of alternatives that which you want.
So, out of all of the people in the world, you are clear and certain that this is the person you want to share your life with. Sounds easy right?
A decision is: a conclusion or a determination about something that is based on rational, logical and reasonable facts and information.
Choices are intuitive, driven by preferences, are satisfying to the "self," feel right and can stretch you outside your comfort zone. Decisions are rational, driven by expectations, appease others, are often justified with reasons and explanations and don’t necessarily require a stretch within yourself.
When we compare decisions and choices…
A decision is rational, where a choice is intuitive. A decision is logical and reasonable, while a choice feels right on a gut level. A decision could be explained by reasons, where a choice is based on personal preference. A decision is driven by external expectations, where a choice is driven by intrinsic proclivity. A decision appeases others, where a choice is satisfying to the self. A decision is comfortable while a choice could be uncomfortable.
The conditions for a decision are: A challenge or dilemma is presented, which frequently is extrinsically initiated. Expectations are a factor, as are the opinions of others and there is pressure to avoid making mistakes. Pros and cons are taken into consideration, reasons have significance and frequently feelings are bypassed.
The conditions for choice are: there is either a statement of dissatisfaction with the status quo or there is an expression of desire for something different than what currently exists. The person examines what she feels about the situation, explores ideally what she wants. The various options are reviewed, preferences are articulated, and the person selects the most desirable option. Finally the person commits to their choice. Choices are intrinsically initiated and have the consideration inherently to make a change. When this progression is followed, the person choosing experiences satisfaction and fulfillment.
The conditions for decision-making look like this. There is a situation that requires resolution. The person examines their expectations, ramifications, and consequences of each option a decision is made based on those criteria or the "shoulds." The outcome results in reservations rather than a clear commitment. The person deciding may end up feeling less than satisfied with the outcome.
The two models look like this:
Selecting a mate can be a decision or a choice. If you select your partner because your family likes him or her, or your friends think s/he is cool, then you are making a decision. If, however, you select a mate because s/he makes you feel like your best self, fulfilled, and grateful, then this is a choice.
Unless you live in a culture where pre-arranged marriages are the norm, choosing a spouse to please others will often end up in a negative way.
Here are some steps for you to take to know if you are making a decision or a choice …
1. Ask yourself how you feel around your significant other.
2. Do you feel happy and grateful?
3. Do you feel like you can be all of you?
4. Do you feel like you are supported in your "Wants?"
5. Do you long to be with this person?
If the answer to these questions is, "Yes," then this is a choice!
If you find yourself justifying, explaining, rationalizing and defending your right to be with him (her) then this is clearly a decision.
Choices have the advantage of lasting longer than decisions. If your relationship is going to go the distance, make sure it is a choice!
A coach can help you see the difference, make a choice, and then feel comfortable with your choice … even if others don’t agree with you.
If you want to contact me for a session about your current relationship challenge, you can reach me through http://www.drcherie.com.