Choices and decisions often appear in life and catch us out. We begin to weigh up the pros and cons of each choice. Sometimes, if the choice is too difficult, we do nothing – which is a choice within itself. Do you choose to follow your heart or to follow your mind?

What Does it Mean to Follow Your Heart?

To follow your heart simply means to make the choice that makes you feel happy – it prioritises instinctive happiness over calculation. You may, for example, fall in love with a person of few financial prospects, and also be pursued by a person of strong financial means. This is a classic Jane Austen dilemma. Both choice would be rewarding in different ways, but one will make your heart sing, while the other offers security.

Will your heart still be singing when you are struggling to pay he bills? That is the concern many people will have. For me, I have always been very independent, so I would never consider a partnership as a financial opportunity, but then I have always been able to look after myself. Some people have not. There is no judgement here. For me, the choice would be easy – true love is rare and if it comes my way, it trumps all other offerings.

The Unconscious Choice

There is a simple technique I use in my clinic to assist clients in making decisions. The premise of this technique is that the unconscious knows the outcome of any choice, based upon a predictable set of circumstances. For example, if Jane Austen chose the prospect with money over the prospect with love, her unconscious mind would know how each option would make her feel in the future. The unconscious is all about feelings and urges – it is not logical. Ultimately, to follow your heart is the same as to follow your unconscious promptings.

However, if the love option ended in tragedy due to illness, for example, the unconscious mind would not normally have predicted it. In this case, the love option would not only have brought true love, but deep grief as well. Then the question would be – is it true that it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all? That is for each person to decide.

Using this technique, the unconscious mind will provide insight into a projected choice – 3 months, 12 months, 2 years, 10 years and so on, down the track, based upon predictable circumstances. Most of the time, we can rely on this method to make the choice that feels best, at this point in time. What feels best depends upon what you need at this time, and what type of values you hold at this time. If security is the thing that will bring you the most happiness at this point in time, you may choose the secure option.

If you follow the secure option down that future path, you might find yourself feeling very settled, or, if it is not the best choice for you at this time, you may find yourself feeling unsatisfied.

Denise’s Future Options

Denise was choosing between three possible suitors. Yes, she was very busy! Suitor A was hot to trot. Suitor B was a past lover. Suitor C was doting on her, telling her he wold wait for her to make up her mind. When we performed this technique on each suitor, Denise’s responses were interesting, to say the least.

When we explored Suitor A, there was an initial excitement, quickly dampened by a sense of repetition from failed past relationships where disloyalty was afoot. When we explored Suitor B, there was a deep sense of love and growth. When we explored Suitor C, the man that Denise had been focussing on and spent the most time with, she could not even face him in her mind’s eye. On an unconscious level she already knew that he was the wrong choice, even though consciously she was seeing him several times a week and aiming to warm up to him.

Following this exercise, Denise persisted in dating Suitor C, claiming that she only had trouble with the exercise because he was different to any man she had dated before. A few more weeks passed by and Denise could not kid herself any further. She had received a phone call from Suitor B, her ex, and she called it off with Suitor C that week. We can consciously convince ourselves of anything, whether out of hope or fear, however the unconscious does not lie.

If you need assistance to make decisions, follow your heart or simply understand your choices better, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.