Updated: Apr 28, 2019
Trust Yourself ?
Stay in the relationship or leave
Take the new job or hang on to the security of the old
Buy a new car or pay repairs on the old
I hate not knowing, and at the time it feels like I will never know, but that I should know (and there is something wrong with me for not knowing).
Ask her to marry me or wait?
Keep living here, or move to where things might be better?
Even small questions can hang us up, like Paint the room sky blue or eggshell white?, and the big questions can send us into a fog of confusion, like What do I want to do with my life?
Really, any decision can be better than living with the negative feelings of uncertainty; so, with an angry shake of my head, I push myself to decide. For better or worse. Right now!
2 Ways to Decide
1. Logically: thinking of the pros and cons can gives us a feeling of control (as we consider the various possibilities); also, we choose the time to decide.
But logical answers are not always the most energizing and fulfilling in the long run.
2. Listening: in contrast, deep answers can do us the most good, both short and long term, because it is what we want on the most fundamental level.
So, why don’t we know those deep answers now? Four good reasons:
1. Should: This simple word can cause great confusion, like the time my brother was going out with two women: one had been doing a lot to help him, and he felt he should be with her (out of gratitude).
The other woman? He liked her more.
He had been back and forth for a while, trying to decide, when I told him what I have told myself many times since: throw out the should and go with your desire.
2. Advice: You are the only person on this planet who really knows you. You are the one with the answers, your answers, the ones that work best for you. And, You are the one in charge.
It is good to turn to others for information and opinions, but advice gets in the way.
3. Tension: the negative feelings of not knowing tend to tighten both body and breathing; and so does trying to squeeze out an answer. This tension can easily block us.
Instead, breathe out the tension with each breath, and relax.
4. Busy: Our society is way too busy to stop, relax and tune in. And yet, giving ourselves a moment of quiet is exactly what can bring the answers we need (as well as a greater measure of peace).
The 4 Steps to Knowing
1. Allow - let the discomfort of not knowing be okay; struggling only tightens and blocks. Keep breathing out the tension.
2. Sit - Be comfortable and relax further with each breath; then,
3. Ask - When you feel relaxed, gently ask yourself (barely a whisper), What do I want/want to do?
4 And Let go - do not try for an answer or even look. The deep answer will come to you all on its own.
If, after a few minutes, it does not, or the answer is not clear, let it go until the next time; but you might not have to wait. Your answer can come to you at an odd moment during the day or middle of the night.
Even when you do not need an answer, give yourself a little quiet time each day (a walk; watching the sun rise; or just sitting with yourself).
It releases those important insights, as well as the stress of a busy life.
Amidst the loud chaos of daily life, Mom single-handedly raised three wild boys and a girl (before disposable diapers, instant dinners and automatic dishwashers).
It was not until long after her death that I realized the depth of her struggles; with us, yes, but more with her own battles against smoking, weight gain and alcohol.
Mom fought, failed and fought again; only to fail again.
Toward the end, she mostly won, but the negative feelings! My own failed resolutions have included, painful disappointment, guilt and shame, as well as a loss of self-esteem.
Stop Pushing Back
Any time we cause ourselves a period of discomfort, or pain, there is an eventual 'push back,' which is why Mom kept failing.
Her diets were pain filled. She could not eat her favorite foods, and she was hungry too. More exercise meant, long, boring walks.
And the harder she pushed to keep going the more pain she felt, which created more, and then more, 'push back.' Until it was just all too much. And she would quit. Again.
Looking back, I wish I could have taken some of her pain; at least shown her that positive change can be made without the struggle, without working against herself. And that she could use that 'push back' to her advantage.
Free: Permanent Resolutions Without the Struggle: 4 simple concepts
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Note – These concepts work easily with positive changes like less TV, more exercise or less weight. They do not work with addictions (e.g. drugs).
More on tapping into your Deep Answers is at this link:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. Here is that link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/the-essence-of-personal-improvement