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A Tale of Two Sisters Blog

We support, celebrate, and teach writers.

Stop Ignoring Your Gut When Making Big Decisions: Here's a Tool

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Imagine, as the moving van drives off, you get a call from an old friend, saying she just had a townhouse vacate. You adore this friend and think she’d make a fabulous landlord!

Her rental is in an older, super-desirable neighborhood. She’ll show it to you in a few days after she has the cleaning crew in.

You hang up with a sudden knot in your stomach.

You turn and look at your living room filled with boxes. Sunlight pours in your front window. You’ve been envisioning this living room since the day it popped up in your rental alert app. Six weeks ago, you clicked on the pictures of this newly refurbished townhouse. The pictures were fabulous; you excitedly drew out a floor plan and decided what you’d put on each wall and where you’d put your furniture. In your mind’s eye, you could see and feel yourself in your new place.

You were thrilled to discover such a lovely place because everyone said housing would be a problem due to the rental shortage.

Being several states away and needing to secure housing prior to arrival made those pictures and your imagination your only source of research.

Your previous living quarters were clean and tidy, with the exception of the stove. In fact, you didn’t use the stove because it was so disgusting. Your toaster oven sufficed. You just couldn’t bring yourself to clean a too-old stove that had probably not seen oven cleaner for a decade.

Now, in this new place, you have brand new appliances, brand new floors, freshly painted walls, new carpet that is so plush you want to go barefoot (and you’re not a barefoot person)...

But, now your friend’s place has come on the scene…

You find the box with your kettle, heat some water, and make a cup of tea. You sit on the floor amid your boxes and ponder your situation.

You start ticking down a pro-con list in your mind:

Pros for this place—I’m here. My stuff is here. It’s clean. It’s new the previous tenant lived here for 19 years and the owners decided to re-do the whole place. It’s quiet you’ve been spending time here over the last few days and you have not heard a peep from your neighbors or from outside.  

Pros for the other place — Location! Location! Location! It is in the hip area of town, an area I’ve lived and where I found myself outside walking or running. It’s a quick walk to downtown. I know the streets and sidewalks, and even felt comfortable going for walks in the early-morning darkness.

Cons for this place — Though this place is safe and secure, I am not certain about the surrounding area. Lots of fenced yards, but so far, no wild pit bulls. I’m not certain it’s an area I will just go outside and walk. I could get a bike and ride to a nearby trail...

Cons for the other place — The condition. It’s an older property and will likely not be 100 percent new. Will I have another unused stove situation? How clean will it be? Another move so soon!?

You decide to put unpacking on hold until you see the other place. You are tired of living out of your suitcase, but at least if you need to repack the things out of boxes, it’ll be a local move and not an interstate move.

And now the waiting... But even as you navigate your boxes and dig out what you need, you have a feeling in your gut telling you the answer to this question.

You could flip a coin. You could ask a friend, your therapist, your partner, but as your partner likes to say: “I’ll give you my opinion, but we both know you’re going to do what you’re going to do regardless.”

He’s right.

And so is the feeling in your gut.

The difficulty is that even an apples-to-apples comparison is not. Just thinking about biting into a Granny Smith makes my mouth pucker. My auto-respond sensation to imagining biting into a Fuji apple (my favorite) is pure joy.

Choosing an apple is quick.

Choosing townhouse A versus B will be relatively quick and painless. You’ll know once you see the place in the better location. It will likely confirm your gut feeling. Just a few days of discomfort waiting in limbo, then a quick decision.

These small (Which apple?) and semi-small (Which living quarters?) decisions are usually made quickly.

But what about our bigger decisions? They generally have a longer lead time and a longer period during which we can weigh the pros and cons.

PowerJournal to the rescue!

PowerJournal, a technique that Elizabeth created, uses four tools that enable you to open a clear channel to your highest self, which knows the truth about who you are, what you want, and how you can get it.

PowerJournaling allows you to get in touch with your intuition—that gut feeling you get when you have a decision to make—and to cut through all the junk that tries to stop you from making a decision--and trust it. So often we seek outside input to justify a decision our gut has already made.

Stay tuned for more details about the forthcoming PowerJournal workbook #3, coming soon!

© 2019 Catherine M. Greenspan