Jun 16 2012


Even though it runs counter to popular belief,
life’s critical decisions are usually made in the heart and only later ratified by the brain.
~Mardy Grothe

Making Decisions

I heard Dr. Amen speak on TV the other day and he was fascinating. Did you know that you can actually change your brain? I’m not going to tell you how to do that, but one thing he said really stuck with me:
Then what?

 Making Decisions

He was talking about making decisions. Before you make a decision, ask yourself, “Then what?” There is so much about the brain we don’t know. When we are in danger and have to make a quick decision, we operate from the reptilian brain – flight or flight. When we are emotionally involved in something, we use our emotional brain, the limbic brain. But when we take time to think about the big picture before making a decision, we use our neocortex. The neocortex is the part of the brain where we can imagine, dream and visualize.

 Emotional Brain

When we have a decision to make, the natural tendency is to use our emotional brain. That part of our brain doesn’t always serve us well. We may not make a smart decision when our emotions are involved. One way to get out of the emotional brain so we can make better decisions is to ask ourselves “Then what?” When we do that, we can take time to think about the answer. We can imagine our life after this decision.

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. ~Keri Russell

 Smart Decision Making

If I make the decision that my emotions are demanding, then what? If I take time to actually ask “then what?”, how will my decision-making be different? What will help me to make a smarter decision? What do you want the outcome to be as the result of your decision? Get out of your emotional brain and think about the end result you’re looking for? What decision will bring you that result?

Think back to a poor decision you’ve made in the past. You know what the result was. How might your life have been different if, before you made that decision you had asked “then what?”

Try it! Next time you are about to make a decision, which will probably be sometime today, ask yourself, “then what?” Get out of your emotional brain and into your neocortex brain, into big sky thinking. Visualize the consequences resulting from your decision. Is that what aiming for? Now visualize the results you really want – how will you change your decision?

Think about the brain, how to improve it and you will be more effective in all you do.
~Dr. Daniel Amen

There are lots of times that you need help with decisions, especially difficult ones. I can’t tell you how often my clients have called on me to help them with the process. Asking the right questions to get clients out of their emotions and into thinking with more clarity and proper perspective has proven to be extremely valuable.

One client, Jeff, put it this way: Betty helps you make smart decisions and set reasonable goals in a short amount of time.

If you are having a difficult time with a decision, or if you find yourself making poor choices a lot, contact me to see how you can benefit from hiring a life coach. Go to my home page to learn how a life coach can help you.

Please leave a comment and let us know how this post helped you – or how you will make smarter decisions in the future.


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