There are times in our lives when we have serious decisions to make. Decisions like leaving a relationship, or quitting a job, or following your dreams. It could even be giving up on your dream. Each of these decisions can throw us into freeze mode. We fear the consequences of big decisions, so we do nothing. We try to wait it out and hope that it takes care of itself The longer we avoid making a decision, the less clear things seem to be.
All kinds of limiting beliefs, conditioning, and “what if’s” flood our minds and keep us in this circle of indecision. Emotions that we may not be ready to deal with try to bubble to the top and we try to hold them down. This can only last for so long before our need to be true to ourselves outweighs our fear of the unknown, the fear of disappointing people we love, and possibly even the fear of failure. We’ve done an exercise in my Ever Evolving You women’s group that demonstrates what this is like.
Take a ping pong ball and a container of water. Try to hold the ball under the water with one or two fingers. The ball represents your emotions, the water represents you. It’s not easy, it takes concentration. The ball resists, it tries to move and make it’s way back to the top of the water. What emotions are you holding down? Be an observer, let them come to the top, look at them objectively and try to understand what these emotions are trying to tell you.
What can you do when faced with a difficult decision?
- Dig deep - what’s the best thing for you? When you do what’s best for you, the people that are meant to be in your life will catch up.
- Talk to someone – Other people have a far better view of your situation than you sometimes do. They don’t have your same belief systems or conditioning and may be able to provide you a different perspective. Better yet, when this person is a coach, a counsellor, or a therapist. This is when you can truly get an impartial voice. When we talk to people who love us, their first instinct is to protect us which may lead to them refraining from sharing things you need to hear.
- Journal – write down all the feelings, the ones that you may not necessarily want to say out loud. This can lead to some different perspective for yourself and help you really see what the fears are and what’s holding you back.
- Be true to your values and your strengths. If you’re feeling out of alignment with who you want to be or who you know yourself to be, ask yourself why? What value is this bumping up against?
- TRUST YOURSELF! You already have all the answers that you need. Trust that you know what the right decision is and then make a plan to put it into action.
Self reflection is hard! Looking deep into your belief systems, your conditioning, why you make the decisions you do, isn’t easy work. Trust me when I tell you that it’s worth it though. Life isn’t meant to be lived in a box. Stretch outside of your comfort zone and create the life that you know you can have. Sometimes getting out of the box means leaving relationships, or jobs, or other things and sometimes it means staying and working at it differently.
Once you make a difficult decision, be prepared! Not everyone is going to “get it”. People have opinions that may differ from yours. Their reaction to your decision is not yours to worry about. Your self-worth isn’t dependent on what others think about you. In fact, their opinion of you is none of your business, regardless of your relationship with them. You may need to have some thick skin to get through this. Some of our conditioning leads a lot of us to be people pleasers and we tend to put ourselves lower on our priority list, or maybe not even on our priority list at all. If you’re one of these people, you’re likely going to feel selfish. This is a great time to look those limiting beliefs that come up in the eye and see them for what they really are.
Don’t be impulsive when making difficult decisions – it’s not a good idea to make life altering decisions when you’re at your highest highs or at your lowest lows. Take the time to reflect, weigh the pros and cons and always, always be true to your personal values and to yourself.
You got this!
If you need some support working through difficult decisions in your life or taking your life to the next level, book a discovery session with me to see how working with a coach can help you get clear on living the life you’re meant to!