Every day, we are confronted with countless decisions. Some of these decisions require immediate attention—should I have a salad for lunch, or a hamburger? Others loom over us, with questions of how and when to resolve these dilemmas further complicating the situation. Should I stay in this relationship? Is this treatment working for me, and if not, what should I do?
As women, we often have so many things competing for our attention; it can feel tremendously gratifying to cross a particular dilemma off our to-do list. Making a choice and taking decisive action can be one of the most effective ways of minimizing stress.
However, there is value in slowing down or accepting the situation as it is, sitting in the confusion or discomfort we feel before making the decision.
This state of non-action gives us an opportunity to ask:
- What am I feeling, and where are these feelings coming from?
- What am I telling myself about this decision?
- Am I concerned that if I don’t make a decision right away, I’ll miss out on an opportunity?
- Am I worried that others will judge me if I allow the situation to linger?
- Do I trust that I can handle the consequences of what I decide to do?
As you deepen your thinking about the situation, you may discover that the beliefs or worries you are holding create excess stress that clouds your judgment. Or, you may realize that the decision is quite clear and easy for you to make, but you need to increase your confidence as you prepare to deal with the changes ahead.
Especially now, as many of us feel extreme pressure building inside and around us, the best option might be to push the pause button and develop the capacity to sit in an agonizing situation until we identify a choice that feels right.
~ Joanna Siebert