The other day, I walked up to a group of friends and realised some-one was sharing a story I had told them.

It was personal, about my husband and I, and even though I would have been happy to share that story with every one of the people listening, I felt a small wave of shock.

It was MINE to share.

Not anybody else.

That experience got me thinking about discernment… a quality I think of as the ability to assess a situation and make good choices accordingly.

I know experiences are often a way the Universe gets my attention and reminds me to be aware of my own actions.

>>Have I been guilty of this same ‘mistake’ – passing on an experience that someone shared with me without first getting their ok? Ah, in truth, yes!

>>Do I sometimes say ‘yes’ without really thinking about all the implications of that decision… whether it’s for me or those around me? Ah, yes, again!

>>Do I sometimes make decisions that are, in fact, not mine to make? Yes, I do!

So if you’ve ever struggled with discernment and making good choices, here’s some scenarios you might be mindful of to avoid my mistakes and grow your discernment super powers…

Scenario # 1: When saying YES to everything is your default!

Here’s a fact: I’m a great believer in saying Yes!

There’s a part of me that feels the more I say Yes, the more open and welcoming the message to the Universe and the more I will attract all the good things life has to offer.

Life has soooooo many juicy experiences. Not saying ‘yes’ would close some of those off and that doesn’t feel good.

I’m a lover of life in all its rainbow colours and my thirst for learning often underlies my propulsion to lean in, and say yes to new experiences that come my way.

Can you relate?

If you can, then you’ll probably know the consequences of this.

Pile up…

Feeling spread way too thin…

All the ‘yes-es’ avalanche and you find yourself in that sticky quandary of being ‘over-committed’. Big time!

If you are delivering services to clients, your ability to be 100% present for them may be impacted.

If you are delivering content to your community, the quality of your material may be compromised.

If you are working on a new project, your ability to create the space for the magic to happen may seem impossible and so, the overall results are less than you hope.

If you are supporting others, the extra strain may seem overwhelming and resentment sets in.

No spare time can mean having to say NO to something that is really central to you and your life’s work…

No spare energy can mean your health gets compromised…

No spare resources can create stress in your life and that can affect all the other important areas.

Tip #1: Maybe YES, maybe NO… discerning the answer is the way to go!

Because I’ve been down this road a few times now, I’m better at catching myself as I’m about say YES to ANOTHER NEW thing.

Here’s some techniques I use that you might find useful.

  1. Don’t say YES in the moment. I know for some of you, that can be excruciating…
  2. Take a minute (or hour or day) but STOP, PAUSE and BREATHE.
  3. Use a way of ‘checking in’ with yourself about the impulse to say YES. I use body wisdom checks like The Three Domains (click here to access the video training), or whole-body muscle testing that is part of kinesiology.
  4. If the answer comes back YES, then dive in!
  5. If the answer comes back NO, honour that and resist the urge to override it and say YES anyway!

Scenario # 2: When a question is not yours to answer but you answer it anyway!

Have you ever agreed to something that was someone else’s responsibility to then deliver and not take into account what that meant for them?

The problem is it might start out as just this small thing, but when the practicalities hit, it takes more time, resources and energy to make happen…

I could have named this scenario: When saying ‘don’t worry, everything will work out’ is your default! and the implications for making it so is thrown up in the air and left to others to make a reality.

On the flip-side, have you ever found out someone has committed you to something you weren’t completely up for? Maybe a friend spoke up for you like mine did – “oh, she’s a great organiser… I’m sure she’d love to take care of that event for the committee!”…? And by the time I heard of it, it wasn’t possible to extract myself with grace.

[It reminds me of office meetings (back in the day), and whoever was out of the room was nominated for the actions list!]

The quandary for me was: do I stand my ground and take care of myself (I really didn’t have the spare for it and knew it would probably send me into overwhelm aka Scenario #1)? Or do I suck it up, stay on good terms with my friend and hope things don’t spiral out of control before it’s all done?

Tip #2: Be discerning about who will shoulder the load!

If you have a tendency to live in the world of thoughts and ideas and practical matters aren’t your strong point, then this may apply to you more often that you realise. Be really mindful of where the load of responsibility rests. Pay attention if you think it’ll all take care of itself magically! While I completely believe in getting clear and leaving the Universe to take care of the details, be careful if that has significant implications for those around you!

If you find yourself having been volunteered, look at all the options you have. Can you extract yourself? Can you talk through ways the outcome can happen without you, or without you alone? Can you live with it as it stands?

Scenario #3: When a story is not yours to share but you (accidentally/not) share anyway!

I’m the kind of girl that likes to connect with people and find out about their life experiences. Sharing stories is such a powerful way to do that, I probably don’t even notice how often I do it.

And being in an online business, I share stories all the time… my own plus those of others… through articles, images, client testimonials and feedback… so this scenario is really relevant.

Without bringing your powers of discernment to the table, you may inadvertently make the mistake of sharing something that’s not yours to share.

Tip #3:  If in doubt, don’t share!

I know this might seem like I’m suggesting you walk on egg-shells, but the impacts of getting this one wrong can be lasting and deeply hurtful.

Here’s some techniques I use that you might find useful if this scenario is really relevant to you:

  1. At the risk of being Captain Obvious… Before sharing anything, think through the scenario as if you were on the receiving end. How would you feel if this happened to you? How important could it be to the person involved? If you have any doubt in the moment, then don’t.
  2. If what you are working on involves an aspect of another person’s story, then either remove that part or change it so it communicates the point but doesn’t obviously point the finger or contact them directly and specifically ask permission to use their experiences.
  3. Be open to them NOT wanting you to share. That’s ok, let it go, move on!
  4. Be open to how they might want to share – anonymously, with obscure reference or with full disclosure.

If the quality of discernment is showing up for you give yourself permission to listen to your soul’s wisdom to find out what gifts are available for you within the experience.

How do you feel about  the 3 Tips to Grow your Discernment Super Powers?  Do you have any other tips you would add?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your thoughts in the space below.

Inspire someone today! You never know who needs this exact message in this moment.