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A Mompreneur's Decision Compass

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I was on the phone with a successful mompreneur client this week helping her work through a very difficult decision that she was facing.  Because of all the priorities we juggle, I find that many mompreneurs can get “frozen” in the decision making process. The more important the decision, the more likely it is that we will lock down. Though, I must admit, on a very challenging day I’ve had trouble deciding if I want a PBJ for lunch.

But I digress.

My mentor Martha Beck taught me a very powerful tool that taps into the power of what our essential, authentic self already knows. I believe women have amazing instincts – we just get in the habit of ignoring them. So when faced with a tough choice, we don’t know how to tap this powerful guide.

So here is a fairly quick and powerful exercise to re-connect to your inner compass. You can use it now to get the idea and then really tap it the next time you are struggling with a decision.  Martha calls it The Body Compass.

Step 1.  Get yourself in a quiet place for about 10 minutes. Take few deep slow breathes. Now, recall a moment in your life that brought you pure joy.  Don’t spend time searching for the “perfect” moment – whatever comes to mind will do. Now, close your eyes and anchor yourself in the details of that memory. Where were you? Who was there? What sights, sounds, smells surround you?

Now, this is the important part – where does that memory live in your body? There is no right or wrong answer here. Many people will choose the heart, but some of my clients have chosen the solar plexus or even “my lips”. Once you have that place identified – expand on it. Choose adjectives to describe how that part of your body feels when recalling that memory.

Congratulations. You’ve just identified “True North” for yourself. THE mos important point on any compass, yes?

Step. 2. Now, I want you to recall an unpleasant moment in your life. Doesn’t have to be the most horrific but the stronger the better.  Again, anchor yourself in the details. What sights, smells, sounds are around you? Who is there? Got a good picture? Good. Now, where does this memory life in your body. I’ve had clients choose their stomachs, their shoulders, their throats, their knees. Could be anywhere.

Now, flesh out this feeling with adjectives – tight, scrunched, closed. The more detailed, the better.

You’ve just identified “Not North”. Again, a very valuable guide on any compass.

So, the next time you face a decision, imagine acting on both choices, one at a time. When you imagine acting on choice A, does your body feel more like True North or Not North? What about Choice B? Does it take you closer to True North or more toward Not North?

While no guide is absolutely foolproof, this particular compass has helped me and so many of my clients move out of decision lock down that it is always a good tool to keep in your back pocket.

If you try it, I would love to know how it works for you, so please share you thoughts and experiences!

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