Have you ever had difficulty making an important decision? Your mind goes back and forth weighing and re-weighing, and it can feel like a form of mini-torture! You have no more clarity after contemplating it the 10th time than you had after the 2nd time. Why is making important decisions so difficult? The answer is actually quite profound. To summarize it into a single word, the answer is VALUES.
You’re probably wondering “how do my values effect my ability to make decisions?”
Great question! Let’s start by defining values.
There are 2 types: Ends values and means values. If I ask you “what do you want most in life?” You might say, “money, success, adventure, love…” The truth is, you probably don’t value money, because money by itself is worthless- it is only worth whatever you can get by using it. Meaning, when you spend money, you do so because there is something that you feel is more valuable to you than having that amount of money. So, you spend money on it hoping to have a certain experience, an emotion, an opportunity, or something that will improve your current situation. So, what you really want is whatever it is you feel money will offer you, it’s not the money itself, it’s what money can get you.
Money is the means value to experiencing the emotion that you want. The outcome of spending the money can get you your ends value, (eg. feeling love, adventure, freedom, security, intimacy, or happiness, etc.) Making a decision is difficult when you’re not crystal clear about your values. This is why life transitions can be so difficult, and you may push off breaking up with your boyfriend, having a difficult conversation, asking for more time with a loved one, asking for better hours or a raise, getting a new job, losing weight AND maintaining it, the list goes on.
Values are something that you hold dear, the emotion you wish to feel. How do you determine what your values are…? In the next few posts, we’ll discuss how to get clearer about your values and make your decisions MUCH easier to make. Stay tuned for Part 2…