A Simple Way To Know What You Want
Is there a cure for self-doubt and the mental seesaw we perpetuate in our heads? How can we choose confidently and stand firmly with our decisions without regret or doubt?
First, let me tell you about an incident with a friend a few Summers ago. We all have that friend. The one who goes to the counter to buy a piece of cake, but you end up waiting outside the store for 10 minutes because she can’t decide what flavor she wants. Lemon or chocolate? Vanilla or hazelnut? As your patience grows thin and you begin to wonder if something actually happened to her, out comes your friend with bags of cake. Because, well, she couldn’t choose and had to buy it all.
You probably know someone like that in your life or maybe it even describes you! But no matter how badly your case of ‘I don’t know what I want’ is, it’s frankly frustrating, an energy and time-waster and we end up with less-than-optical results. Because, did that friend honestly want 4 types of cake in the end? No, but that can be the price of indecision. So how do we overcome this madness and actually know what you want? Read on to hear why it’s much simpler than you think.
Distilling The Voices In Our Head
In order to understand why we ended up in such a decision-pickle, imagine this: you’re on a field and about to pick a direction to go. Then suddenly, dozens of voices shout at the same time: advice, opinions, points of view, warnings, perspectives… You freeze and stop in your tracks, more confused than before. What was that? Where should I go? You look around, trying to figure out the right way. Then it starts all over again. Like a big surge of confusion overcoming you each time with voices from every direction.
This is what happens when we listen to all the thoughts in our head. It jumps all over the place, always has something to say and flows in an never-ending stream. If this is news to you, then take a moment to watch how your mind operates, especially when there’s an internal conflict. You’ll notice how it isn’t logical and switches sides all the time. Yet this is what we listen to when we try to make a decision. We forget that all these thoughts are just that: thoughts. They aren’t all true and we don’t have to listen to them.
Plus, some of these voices may not even be yours. This is so significant if we are trying to figure out what it is that we want. The narrative in our head takes on anything it comes across. Like a parrot, it will repeat back societal expectations, the pressure from your peers or even the wishes of your mom from years ago. If we aren’t aware of all these voices, then no wonder we can’t make a decision easily! So how do we find our voice?
Sticking With A Decision
In high school, I learned that I should stick with my original answer on multiple-choice exams, because my initial choice is usually the right one. This might not seem significant, but we actually do this type of second-guessing in more important life decisions a lot.
A prime example of this is when my clients come to me when they feel like they are at a crossroad. As we begin to unpack the ‘problem’, I notice that they are already leaning towards one decision. Even when they say that they don’t know what they want, deep down they do. The only thing that’s in the way from clarity is the thick fog of ‘but’s and what if’s.
It looks almost ridiculous from the outside, because there is a strong pull towards what it is that they want. It is clear! Yet, there’s a great level of self-sabotage and doubt. The reason we do is, because we often confuse the discomfort of making a brave, courageous, exciting decision with ‘wrong choice’.
A lot of what we want is scary and new! In fact, there’s a high chance that we will fail and fall flat on our face. But our inner yearning to keep growing and evolving is here guiding our every step. So next time, you notice that you’re changing your mind or backing away from something that clearly feels right, ask yourself again. Am I just afraid to fail? Am I just trying run away from the discomfort or even excitement that this decision could bring?
Don’t let the thoughts of your mind trick you into believing that you don’t know, when you do. The more awareness you have of the voices that aren’t true, the better you can navigate and actually listen to your gut. It isn’t about adding more, but remembering what you already know.
Let me know in the comments below, what’s the last confusing decision that you made? Share this article with a friend who made me having trouble figuring out what she needs, because it is simpler than what it seems.