Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Can’t Decide…

Ever feel that way? In duality? Unable to make a choice? Bouncing back and forth from “I want to… But maybe not.”

Several times when I haven’t been able to decide exactly ‘what’ to do in a certain situation, I do the standard pluses and minuses list. Sometimes that activity can bring out enough realistic observations to easily make a choice. And sometimes not. The result is two lists. Two lists, and no conclusion.

Lots of us have been ‘caught’ there when we’re in what I’ll label ‘somewhat significant situations’. Yes? Or, No? Should I? Or, shouldn’t I?

Situations such as:
* I really could use a better vehicle… should I buy a new one now, or wait until January or February?
* I’m not really happy… Should I get out of this relationship now, even though some parts are good, others are not?
* Should I let my children go live with their Father, even though I’m not 100% sure they will be happy?
* Should I move my Mother to an assisted living facility, or wait another few months?
* Should we buy a home in another state, just to live closer to at least one of our children and his family?
* Should I even try for that job transfer to Texas with my company, which has a very good potential for a big promotion in the next two years? Yet if we move half way across the country it would mean my husband having to find a new job and the kids changing schools in the middle of the year?
* Should I move some of that extra money to a safe CD at the bank, or take a chance on that great low-risk stock my wealthy Uncle recommended last week?

My suggestion, and I have done this (with success) – if there’s no huge rush, no impending next-day deadline, I make a firm decision to put off the decision to a later date. What? A firm decision to not make a decision?

Hey, it works. If the back-and-forth thoughts are causing more than a little bit of stress & tension, making a firm decision to put off a decision to a later date makes sense. It’s taking the emergency out of it.
It takes away the self-imposed pressure. “Self” imposed pressure is “I” imposed pressure. If “I” have imposed/created it, “I” can uncreate it by thinking different thoughts.

Choose any reasonable date in the future and make a simple decision: “I’m going to review this again in two weeks” or “I’m going to reconsider this on January 2nd.” I prefer choosing a date (for me it seems more of a definite firm decision, plus it’s entered as a To-do on my calendar). Then, if any working-up type thoughts do come up, you can just tell yourself (think/bring to mind) “I don’t need or want to think about that now. I’ve already made a firm decision to reconsider the facts on January 2nd.” That really does put a stop to the duality.

So when you’re in bed trying to fall sleep and the ‘Maybe I should, Maybe I shouldn’t’ thoughts come back, you just tell yourself: “I’ve promised myself…” (that’s really what a firm decision is – a promise or an even stronger word is ‘vow’) “I’ve promised myself I will review my options on January 2nd.” Period. Exclamation point! The END.

Often during the interim time, when we’ve taken the pressure off ourselves, something or someone comes along spontaneously with new information or a different/better opportunity which makes making the end-goal decision much more uncomplicated.

Try it. It beats duality and worry!

© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved