Anyone who has ever had difficulty making a big decision knows the feeling. No matter how much time you spend mulling things over, you just don't know which way to go. Your mind feels confused, and you feel torn between the available options. You keep running things over in your mind, hoping for some kind of insight or revelation, but the confusion just grows and you're no further ahead.
When you're struggling to like this, the source of the problem is often two-fold. First, there's a good chance the pressure and stress of the situation is making it difficult for you to get in touch with what you truly want. The second issue is likely one of interference; you're distracted by what you think you should do, based on some outside standard or other people's expectations.
Asking yourself the following questions will help you block out all the excess static and get tuned in to what's right for you.
How will I feel when I look back on this situation 5 years from now?
Viewing the situation from a future vantage point can help you see the situation within the context of your overall life path and goals. Envision the outcome associated with each potential choice; which one aligns most closely with where you want to be in 5 years time? This approach can also help to put things into perspective. As you imagine yourself looking back on this decision, you may realize that it's really not such a huge decision in the larger scheme of things.
If I wasn't worried about what my spouse/parents/friends will think, what would I do?
There are many occasions when it's healthy and totally appropriate for us to consider the impact of our actions on the people closest to us. But many of us struggle to find the right balance, and we wind up losing ourselves as we get caught up in someone else's agenda. Taking that person out of the equation for a moment is a great way to free yourself up from that entanglement. You might be surprised by how differently you manage things and the different decisions you make when you don't need someone else's approval.
What advice would I give if my best friend was making this decision?
We don't necessarily have all the right answers for our friends and the issues in their lives. However, we often approach things much differently when we're offering them our input and support. There's a good chance we'll tell them not to get caught up in pleasing the people around them; and we'll encourage them to stand by their convictions, honour their conscience, and do what's in their own best interest. Taking this advice and turning it back on ourselves can be the catalyst that gets us thinking differently, making it easier to clarify the right path to take.
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