You’d think making a choice would be easy.
Which option feels the most aligned with your intentions for your future.
Okay… maybe it’s not that simple.
You make a choice.
‘Yes, that’s what I’m going to do’.
And then it starts…
Is that the really the right choice for me?
What will xyz think of that choice?
Can I really do that?
Isn’t that a bit out of reach for me?
Am I qualified enough, intelligent enough, rich enough, old enough, young enough, thin enough, funny enough, serious enough…
When I tried that in the past it didn’t work, am I stupid for thinking it will work this time?
Am I just setting myself up to fail?
Perhaps I’ll just ask a few people and see what they think.
Then after you have all the (hopefully) well-intentioned thoughts and let’s face it, emotional baggage that’s been triggered by the decision you’re making, piled on top of your already overworking mind, you still have no idea what choice to make.
You’ve gone from having an idea about what you wanted to do, to talking yourself out of it, to now drowning under the weight of information, expectations, and should’s – most of which aren’t even your beliefs in the first place.
No wonder you’re confused!
But let’s not stop there…
Next, we can add the pressure of getting something ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, as if we think there is only one way to achieve what we want.
We can put so much pressure on ourselves to make the perfect decision, that we immobilise ourselves and make no decision at all.
Yet in our quest for perfection, we rarely stop to ask who’s set of rules for perfection we are trying to measure up to; family, societal, cultural? It’s rarely our own.
The problem is, as humans we’re emotional creatures, we’re full of feelings, we’re sensory beings, yet we pretend we’re not.
Instead of embracing the messiness and unpredictability of humanness and life, we try to sanitise and control it.
We generally already know what we want to do, but we try to justify our decision to ourselves, and to others.
Then we just get in a tangled mess of what we want, what we think we should want, and what other’s want for us.
No wonder you’re now overwhelmed!
Instead try this.
Next time you have to make a decision, write it down for clarity, then notice how you feel.
Stop what you’re doing and pay attention to how your physical body feels.
What’s the quality of your energy and thoughts?
There will be two types of feelings in your body’s response to the choice you need to make.
One response will be fear that shows up as overwhelm.
The other will be your intuition guiding you to the choice that’s best for you.
Here’s how to sense the difference.
- Negatively charged emotionally
- Anxious, frustrated
- Like you’restuck in a loop
- Neutral; it just is
- Clear and calm
- Full of opportunity and hope
- It feels ‘right’, but not in a way that makes sense logically, but you just ‘know’
By stopping to notice how you feel, you’ll be able to cut through the noise of overwhelm, expectations, and should’s.
You can step out of the energy of ‘what if it all goes wrong’, and into the energy of ‘what if it all goes better than I imagined’.
One thing’s for sure you can’t think your way out of overwhelm. You don’t need more thoughts you need more clarity.
You create clarity by creating space. That means removing some of the thoughts that aren’t helpful (and that aren’t yours).
Imagine you were moving into a new house.
You turn up with your removal van and start to unload your furniture.
When you open the door to your new home, the previous people have left all of their furniture behind. But instead of clearing out the house first, you just continue to unpack your belongings and add it to the previous occupants.
When you’ve finished unpacking it’s going to be squashed, messy, and you’ll have very little space to do all the things you’d dreamed of doing in your new home.
And yet that’s what we do when we try and think our way out of overwhelm.
What we need to do is the same as moving house. You need to start by removing the previous occupants stuff, clean the house, and then you can start to move your furniture in, creating the home that you desire; one where you feel safe, protected, nourished and nurtured.
Just like when you need to make a decision, you need to remove the previous occupant’s stuff; consider this identifying and removing the fears, expectations and should’s.
Then you clean the house; this is you getting clear on what you want from life.
And finally, you bring in your own furniture; you get to create the life that you want, and choose the decisions that move you in that direction.
So, when you next feel overwhelmed, take a moment to stop and give yourself the chance to notice the nudges and messages, from your intuition.
Then take action.
Actions create movement.
Movement and the direction of travel can always be amended.
Being stuck in the loop of overwhelm just gets you thinking in circles and going nowhere.
Choose to be a perfectly imperfect, messy and complicated human, it’s much more fulfilling, fun, and full of adventures.
The other option is, well… I’ll let you fill in the blank ____________
Let’s face it, it can be hard to know what we really want.
I’ve had way too many women burst into tears when I’ve asked them that exact question.
“What do you want?”
Whether it’s life purpose questions, what they want to do at the weekend, or even what movie they want to watch.
They’re so used to prioritising the needs of others; children, partners, parents, co-workers, friends…. they’ve become disconnected from what they really want.
Their desires silenced under the noise of judgements, ‘should’s’, and expectations.
Not wanting to let other people down, wanting to be seen as a ‘good’ person, not wanting to be seen as selfish, the list goes on and on as to why people get disconnected from hearing their inner wisdom and desires.
The noise, overwhelm, and mixed messages that women receive can create inner turmoil and confusion. Be confident, but not too confident, be clever, but not too clever, be powerful, but not too powerful, be sexual, but not too sexual…
Playing small to keep other people comfortable. Not speaking up in case it upsets or offends someone. Not asking for what you need in case it inconveniences others.
So instead of trusting her inner desires, or hearing her inner wisdom, she can barely hear their messages. She gets busy contorting herself to meet other people’s expectations and desires.
As she gets busier, her inner voice gets quieter, until it’s a distant memory, a slight twinge of knowing that’s easy to ignore.
In quiet moments, she knows something doesn’t feel right, but rather than ask herself what she really needs, she doesn’t have time, and certainly doesn’t want to explore how much she’s betrayed herself and turned her back on her needs, instead, she takes on more responsibility and numbs the pain with her crutch of choice; scrolling through social media, gossip, shopping, food or ‘wine o’clock’.
Under this weight of expectations and judgements it can be hard to choose what you want, over what you feel you should do to fit in or please others.
There’s no doubt that sometimes it can feel easier to ignore that intuitive nudge, and that quiet inner knowing, rather than speak up or ‘rock the boat’.
It’s easy for the mind to become overwhelmed with information.
But it’s time to try something new.
A way that prioritises you and your needs.
Because from experience, we know the other way leads to frustration, resentment, overwhelm and burnout, and that’s no fun for anyone!
Instead, it’s time to start to reconnect with awe and wonder.
With opportunities and possibility.
Instead of trying to think your way through a situation, start to feel it.
Let the openness of curiosity lead you to where you want to be.
Place your hand over your heart and ask yourself:
“What do I want?”
Not what you think you should want, or what other people want for you, but what do you want?
Then ask yourself:
“What do I need to do today to be fulfilled?”
Ask yourself these questions everyday.
You may not have the answer immediately but keep asking.
Get quiet, ask the question, and become curious to the quiet whisper you hear.
Create the space for that whisper or quiet nudge to get louder, and louder, until you’re clear what voice is yours, and what voices are the external expectations and desires of other people.
This process is important as of course you’re asking a question to get an answer.
But it’s also important because you’re giving yourself a moment of sacred pause, a moment to turn inwards and actually ask yourself what you want and need.
You’re taking a moment to cut through the noise and listen to yourself.
A moment to connect with yourself to hear your inner wisdom.
A moment to help you make better choices, that are aligned with what you actually want and desire.
And if that fails, toss a coin.
Years ago, I was on a training and the teacher said that when she can’t decide what to do, she tosses a coin.
I was surprised, I didn’t have her down as someone who would leave decisions up to chance in such a way.
She then went on to explain…
She doesn’t ‘do’ what she assigned to the coin’s ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, but she uses it to watch her immediate response, her intuitive wisdom.
She might not initially know what she wants, but as soon as the coin ‘tells’ her what to do, she immediately feels relief at a ‘yes’ because that’s what she wants to do.
Or a resistance to the coin’s answer, in that case she knows that she wants the other option.
She used the coin to help her bypass her mind and get clear on what she really wanted.
If you want to cut out the noise and reconnect to your inner wisdom, so that you can make better choices in life click here to learn how>>