When we come across the fork in the road of making decisions, we often are not completely aware of the context that dictates what decisions are being made or not made. When we are in the arena, we are not always capable of seeing all angles of our performance. This means that sometimes we need to rely on outside resources to provide a perspective from a distance. One tool and exercise we can utilize to gain the invaluable awareness is a Pro/Con list. This list has the potential of showing us reasons for supporting to make a decision or not make a decision. The Pro/Con list allows us to get a clearer picture of where our personal power, passions, and desires lay. This awareness provides a map for deciding which path to take in that fork in the road. When we make a Pro/Con list, it is important to be as specific as possible in your reasons and to first get very grounded in what your intentions are for what you would like to accomplish from completing this exercise. Once you have made your lists, take time to reflect on the reasons that showed up on your list. Did anything surprise you? What are you experiencing in noticing the direction you are being pulled to make a certain decision based on the list? This is a tool we can utilize in all forks in the road. I have used this exercise in crisis situations where I was battling between self-harm/suicide and coping in healthy ways. Through creating a Pro/Con list, I recognized that the context for which I was making my decision for self-harm/suicide was a cognitive distortion – a perspective that was slanted by my feelings and my thoughts that were over-generalized and all-or-nothing thinking. This awareness gave me the power to realize that I was not in a place of doom like my distortions were telling me. I challenge you to walk yourself through this exercise anytime you are feeling conflicted in which path to take in that fork in the road. You will see the reality of the situation and be freed in making the decision you really want to make.
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