Decisions, decisions…yes, no or maybe??


In Human Design, one of the biggest differentiating factors from other personality tools is that it tells you how to make decisions. We call that your specific decision-making Strategy. It works for you – and it works all the time – every day for decisions large and small. It seems simple, right?

But when I talk with clients, it gets a bit more complicated. It’s not because the Strategy doesn’t work. It works! But what also comes into play for many people are the Energy Centers we have that are Open (white on your chart). These Open Centers take in energy from others and operate in funny ways sometimes. They become the “what if” questions we ask ourselves, after we think we’ve made a decision. Let’s look at some of these and how they make decisions more difficult.

But first, just a quick review. In case you were wondering, here are the decision-making Strategies for each Energy Type:

  • Manifestors: inform others (who need to know) before you act
  • Generators: Wait to respond with your gut
  • Manifesting Generators: Wait to respond with your gut, then let others know (inform) before you take action.
  • Projectors: wait for the invitation on the big decisions in life (and wait to be asked for advice)
  • Reflectors: wait for 28 days when making a big decision


And here is a chart of all the Energy Centers (and what they do) so you can follow along with your own chart:

As I was thinking about all the factors that can lead us to doubt our own Strategy for making decisions, they line up rather neatly into two categories:

Not listening to our own Strategy Centers in play
Saying “YES” when we mean “NO” Solar Plexus, Will (Heart), Sacral, Root
Saying “NO” when we mean “YES” Spleen, Head/Ajna, Solar Plexus, G


If you’re making a decision that’s bigger than what to have for dinner, you may have come to rely on – and even fully trust – your own decision-making Strategy over time. But then something happens to change your mind or change your perspective. What is that?? And where does it come from?


So you’ve checked in with your Strategy, and let’s suppose the answer you’ve come up with is “NO”. And you’re feeling pretty sure about it. It feels right to you.

No, I really don’t want to buy a new car right now. No, I don’t want to go with the entire extended family on another summer vacation. No, I don’t feel like I need to be at the office for a third evening this week. No, I really don’t have the energy to help out with this all-weekend fundraiser.

Do any of these sound familiar? If you have an Open Will (Heart), Root, Sacral or Solar Plexus, they may sound like you. And here’s why: you’re taking in energy from someone else that’s making you question the decision you’ve made. Here’s an example:

If your Will Center is Open (white), you may have walked into the car dealership with a real desire to see what’s new after doing a little research at home, but knowing that you intend to buy something in six months or a year from now. Not today. The reason doesn’t matter; it’s your decision. It just feels better to wait. Of course, you are helped by an incredibly smooth-talking salesperson who assures you, after looking at a few cars, that the prices and interest rates will go up, this car won’t be around for long, and blah, blah, blah. Before you know it, you’ve signed the paperwork for a brand new car. What happened?

Basically, the salesperson’s Will Center energy was absorbed and amplified by your own open Will Center. And that energy felt very good. In fact, it felt empowering. All of a sudden, the cautious patience to wait for six months seemed a little silly – and the amplified willpower was egging you on: “Come on, you can do this. Why wait? You love it, right?” And ironically, when this willpower is amplified, we also want to please whoever is doing the asking! The salesperson usually has no idea of all this energy moving around. They know they’re good at their job; they just don’t realize it’s all about energy and not as much about what they’re saying. They really don’t have to say all that much! And yet, you, with the open will center, are “sold” on the idea of a new car.

My suggestion to clients is to completely REMOVE yourself from the energy in the dealership and particularly from that salesperson, so that you can make a decision on your own – WITHOUT their energy to persuade you. Or you can bring someone with you – your wingman – to make sure that you don’t buy anything today.

And don’t worry, if it is a really good deal, it will be there tomorrow or next week – when you’ve had a little to think about it, without other energies to fog your judgment one way or the other.

If you have the Open Solar Plexus, you are similarly taking in other people’s emotions. So you may want to say “no” in a certain situation, but because you feel the other person’s emotions – either good or not-so-good – you’re persuaded to change your mind and say “yes”. You may feel badly for them, or compassionate for their circumstances, or even empathetic – where you feel what they’re feeling. Any of these feelings – that are NOT YOURS – will have the effect of making you less solid about your decision.

If you have the Open Sacral, you will be taking the sustainable energy of lots of people around you. This energy makes you feel like you’ve got lots of energy to go and go, when you’re around it. But when you go home, you feel tired. When at a large group gathering – like a party, conference, or networking event – you’ll feel like you have energy and want to stay to play, party or network. In Human Design, we describe this feeling as “not knowing when enough is enough”. So it feels like the pressure to say “yes, I’ll stay a while longer” when you really want to go home and get some rest. Knowing your own energy and its limits helps in this instance. Sometimes, you may have the energy to stay out longer, but it’s always best to check in with yourself first.

If you have the Open Root, this one just feels like pressure from other people. Whether it’s your spouse, business partner, your manager or your children, you will feel their stress and it will make you say things you don’t really mean to say. The sheer feeling of pressure from their Defined Root – they don’t even have to say anything – will make you rush or move more quickly, even if there’s no reason to. It makes me rush across a street when I feel like traffic is waiting for me, rush when I’m getting ready to go out with my husband, or get nervous around the boss (when I had a boss). We will do anything to get rid of that feeling of pressure, including say “yes” when we really want to say “no”.

Does that sound familiar?

The best way around the pressure that the Open Root Center feels is self-awareness. Once you realize what that feeling of pressure is, it’s a lot easier to recognize it for what it is, stop for a moment, and then ask yourself what choice to make in this situation. Do you need to rush? Do you need to ask a question for clarity? Is there really a deadline that needs to be met? Can you ask for a little more time to work on a project? Can you tell your child they can get a toy NEXT time? These are all questions to figure out if the stress you’re feeling is yours, or if you’re reacting to someone else’s stress. (Note to self: you’ve got enough stress without taking on the stress from others.)

Since we’ve covered a number of scenarios for the Open Centers when we want to say “no”, I’ll leave the second group – No when we mean Yes – till next time.

Please let me know if you have any questions come up or any particularly funny or interesting situations where you’ve said “YES” and then realized you were in one of the situations in the examples today.

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