Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(re)Invention...Day 4

discernment

The intention is set and now I must make decisions. I have no choice…and I also have nothing to loose…so it is time to step out on this fog-covered path and make the map along the way…

How do you make decisions…big as well as small? If you take the time to look deeply within yourself, you will find that you have unique biases, which affect your decisions…and ultimately your life.

Wikipedia defines bias as follows:
Bias is a standard point of view or personal prejudice. especially when the tendency interferes with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced, or objective. The term biased is used to describe an action, judgment, or other outcome influenced by a prejudged perspective. It is also used to refer to a person or body of people whose actions or judgments exhibit bias. In this context, the term “biased” is often used as a pejorative.


It goes on to state that in psychology, cognitive bias is bias based on cognitive factors. One type of cognitive bias is confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret new information in such a way that confirms one’s prior beliefs, even to the extreme of denial, ignoring information that conflicts with one’s prior beliefs. The fundamental attribution error, also known as “correspondence bias”, is one example of such bias, in which people tend to explain others’ behavior in terms of personality, whereas they tend to explain their own behavior in terms of the situation.

In the Five Steps to Decision Making from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the Jeuits say:

Biases in unique persons – There are two basic exaggerations in the way with which people make their decisions. Some people put closure on the decision-making process too quickly; others keep avoiding placing closure on the decision-making. The first group is made up of “closure artists” who appear to enjoy the making of decisions. They make decisions quickly. They easily come to closure on what-should-I-do or what-needs-to-be-done questions. However, they are inordinately eager to cut off the considerations of some variables. After all, too many variables would make their decision-making more difficult and their lives too ambiguous! The second group is made up of “avoiders” who appear to avoid conscious decision-making until the circumstances force them to act. They often fear the burden of responsibility for mistakes because they do not want to face the fact that, as humans, we are never cognizant of all the variables.

Discernment for me is somewhere in between. As an entrepreneur, I am a quick decision maker…kind of a gut feeling pattern that I embrace. During this period of my life, depression has made me a waiter looking for aspects, which generally become more evident as the movement is allowed to unfold. Perhaps it is avoidance or fear, probably both.

Fear is normal as we work through it and learn to trust ourselves again. In the back of my mind is the fact that I have done something to bring me to this place of transition-this place of many crossroads, and I have to choose one and go forth without a clue as to where I am going or how I will get there.

I have to believe that quote: “Sometimes you just have to take a leap and build your wings on the way down”-Kobi Yamada….when I so don’t want to jump…

It takes courage to allow yourself to grow…to step off that cliff, blindly not knowing if someone is there to catch you, or how far down it is, or if there is something to break the fall. The metaphor seems to hint that you will just have to flap those wings until you build the strength or the skill to fly…on your own.

Do I have discernment…perhaps!

Do I know which path to take…perhaps!

Am I full of fear…Yes!

Yet I am on the move, taking that leap of faith today and trusting that, even if it is the wrong direction, God will make it the right one…

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