Why you can't make up your mind (and what to do about it)

When you are in the midst of big life decisions or changes, you may find that you are constantly changing your mind.

It feels like the minute you reach clarity, something comes along to confuse you all over again. This can really aggravate the process! But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

The reason you can't make up your mind is not that you are brash or waffling. It's because you are doing the hard work of uncovering deeper layers of your truth and of your desires.

Every time a new layer is uncovered, there is more to consider! And that can feel like indecision. Really, it is the soul-searching work of deliberation.

 

Let me give you an example, in the form of a made up story about a made up person.

Carrie has spent her whole life defending her career choice to her family. She is a teacher for middle school students with learning disabilities and her parents have always acted like her choice lacked ambition.

After ten years of this work, Carrie is feeling burnt out and is considering a change of career.

Lately, she has taken a deep interest in the economy and her hobby of watching the stock market makes her itch to learn more about the ins and outs of global finances.

She could go back to school. But she has spent so long defending her career path that even contemplating leaving teaching feels like a betrayal of her values.

Her process of deliberation takes many twists and turns....

She starts to research programs and gets really fired up about this decision! She talks to her parents about it and their enthusiasm makes her feel strangely unenthused. She wants to keep working with the students she sees every day and feels selfish abandoning them. Winter vacation comes around and after it, she can't bring herself to be excited to go to work. She needs to get out of there and make a change! She finds the perfect program on Monday, but then on Tuesday has major breakthroughs with one of her students and never wants to leave her teaching job!

She feels confused and guilty and like something is wrong with her because she keeps changing her mind.

 

Here's the deal.

When you can't make up your mind or feel a massive fog around some part of your life, consider that there are many layers of identity and being and belief wound up in it.

And while you may be itching for clarity, that will come only after you've unraveled and sat with each of these layers.

So give yourself permission to think one thing today and think the opposite tomorrow. (If your decision is time-sensitive, a retreat of some kind - even a half-day off! - can help to speed up the uncovering.)

The important thing is to neither rush nor stand completely still.

Inch forward along a path you may want to take and see what comes up. Allow yourself to confront each new layer as it surfaces. Seek out support and don't be afraid to share the new ideas and thoughts and contradictions that are surfacing.

You got this!

p.s. If you are looking for some guidance to help you figure out what you want, check out my free workbook on Taking Stock of What You Need.

 

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Gabriella FeingoldComment