Are you now or have you ever struggled with the question “What should I do?” Or perhaps, are you tolerating a suboptimal situation, and are unsure how to best resolve it? Are there associated feelings of overwhelm, conflict or confusion? Do you fear making a choice that mQight lead to regret, or do you have regrets from previous decisions made that are holding you back, keeping you stuck? By default, no decision is a decision and unfortunately often does lead to regret and a sense of powerlessness.

We all must make difficult decisions throughout our lives. These include all integral aspects of our lives that affect us deeply such as relationships issues, career and transition issues, the care and responsibility of an ailing pet or loved one, to name a few . In order to move forward with any difficult decision, it is most important to accept and understand the circumstances that you are facing. Look at it. Then ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Be very clear about what you want. Also, it is important to understand what personal values you have that need to be honored in your decision making process. Often the conflict exists because there are conflicting values at stake, for instance freedom and responsibility. Identifying our values and prioritizing them is a critical part of every choice we make in order to have peace with those decisions and in order to make those choices from a place of compassion and wisdom rather than fear or conflict. Additionally, it is important to look objectively at the possible outcomes, with as much detachment as possible. This will allow you to evaluate what is and is not acceptable to you. what can you live with? what can’t you live with?

As you gain a better understanding of your situation and needs, you will also gain a sense of clarity and peace of mind. You will experience an emotional shift, a movement from feelings of conflict, hopelessness, confusion or blame to a sense of cooperation, compassion and empowerment. These are the emotions that are associated with the outcome or result you previously identified when you focused on what you really want. When you are in these more empowering emotional states, you can actually see opportunities that were previously obscured. You may even be able to create new options, new possibilities that did not, nor could not, occur to you when you felt conflicted. By stepping back and systematically exploring your situation, you will ultimately know that you can handle the situation, regardless of the outcome, and that you truly have what is necessary to move forward in making your best decisions.

Please submit inquiries or questions for future columns to Corinna Murray, veterinarian and professional life coach with Veterinary Care Navigation and can be reached at www.veterinarycarenavigation.comor, (404) 661-2263begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (404) 661-2263 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Read more: – Column The art of making difficult decisions