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 ____________