Anytime I have ever made a really important decision in my life and the results were favorable, it was generally because I went along with a strong feeling that I had that wasn’t based on much concrete information. Generally, lists of Pros and Cons (and other similar methods) don’t usually work for me when I have a choice to make because I prefer to use my intuition. (That’s the N in my INFP.) From my observations, I find that a lot of people agonize over whether or not they a making the right decision and spend a lot of time poring over the facts to no avail. Intuitive decision making tends to be less painful and quicker, but requires a little risk taking.
I’m not saying other methods don’t work, I’m only saying I don’t prefer to use them. So, if making a Pros and Cons list works for you, stick with that. But, if you are interested in using a more intuitive approach here are some steps that I take.
Go With What You Are Drawn To
There’s probably a good reason that you are attracted to it. Something about it has gotten you interested, trust yourself and go see what it is. In my experience, what we are drawn to is generally what is right for us at that time. Besides, would you ever go after something that repels you? Or, that you felt apathetic about?
Feel Your Way Along
Earlier this year, I tried out indoor rock climbing for the first time. I was in a class where the instructor had us climb blindfolded (not on the very first time!) and, oddly enough, I found it to be easier. When I was climbing and using my eyes, I would look at a hand/foot hold and think to myself “I can’t put my foot there – it’s not big enough.” But when I had no eyes, I also had no judgements. I simply felt my way up the wall, putting my feet and hands where I could, based simply on touch.
If we give too much authority to our eyes, sometimes we miss things along the way.
Which One Can You Not Accept?
This is for really difficult choices. When you are faced with two choices and neither of them seem particularly appealing, decide which one you cannot accept and choose the other. Many times, in this situation, one of the choices really sucks and the other one you are simply afraid to do. Deciding what you can absolutely not accept in your life leads you to the right decision – even if it’s something you are afraid to do.
Making decisions based on intuition ultimately requires that you trust yourself and your feelings. It’s the difference between using your eyes to do everything and using your body to feel your way along. Take the leap! Why would you lead yourself astray?
“Our attitude must be like that of the mountain pine mentioned above…It merely tries to feel whether it should grow more toward the left or the right, toward the slope or away from it.” – From “Man and His Symbols,” M.-L. von Franz