Have you ever been in a situation where you knew exactly what you needed to do but you still didn’t do it?
Maybe you knew you needed to leave a job because it was unfulfilling. Maybe you knew your child needed something but the experts warned against it. Maybe you knew you no longer loved your spouse and needed to divorce.
What’s up with us not doing what we know in our hearts and minds is the right thing to do? Why do we suffer needlessly when we seem to know the answer.
How can we tune into that inner knowing and follow its guidance?
The longest relationship I was in before my husband was also the most serious one I had been in up to that point in my life. Serious, in that, we moved in together, talked about marriage on the good days, and made those big couple declarations to one another to show our commitment.
We did all of this despite the glaring problems between us. Our issues were a culmination of my broken spirit, his broken will, and a neediness we both had for one another. We initially picked each other up and basked in our mutual love and desire. Over time, though, we depended on one another too much and weren’t focused enough on ourselves and what we each needed to be fulfilled, stimulated, cared for, and loved.
I knew this. I think he knew this. And yet, we held on. Desperately at times and with a blind devotion that wrecked our individual self-worth.
Seems crazy, right?
Why didn’t I leave the relationship when I knew it wasn’t right for me?
The same could be asked of other experiences I’ve held on to, or gone for, or didn’t pursue against my better judgment.
When my ex and I finally broke up, I dug deep to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. Why did I spend so many years in a relationship destined for failure? Why was I so scared to leave? How did I feel about myself and was I tuned into what I needed?
In doing this, I discovered I go through a process of fear-based questioning whenever faced with bigass decisions.
- Doubt. Is what I think is the right thing to do, actually the right thing to do? This is a basic questioning of your intuition. Is your intuition to be trusted? I say, yes, presuming you feed your intuition with trust. It’s a beast that thrives on trust in yourself. If you work on trust, your doubts become the beast that’s starved.
- Worth. Am I worth it? Even if you know the situation you’re in is not right, you may question whether you’re worth the alternative. Worthiness is tied to self-love and self-esteem. Work on loving yourself. Tell yourself every day, “I love you.” No one else needs to tell
you you’reloved or worth it, nor should they have to even though it’s nice to hear and feel it from others. If you don’t already hold that love for yourself, you’ll never believe you’re worthy of the love a person or a situation holds for you.
- Shame. Will I make the wrong choice and embarrass myself? We are social creatures and do take the opinions of others to heart. When doubt in your choice and how it will affect you spills over into how it will be seen by others, we’re in shame territory. And guess what? You’re not alone there. Undoubtedly, you’ll make choices others don’t accept or don’t work for them or will be judged at one point or another by someone. If you live your life to make everyone else feel ok and right, you will be denying what’s ok and right for yourself much of the time. The courage to be vulnerable to the perception of others (and sometimes embarrassment) is necessary to overcome shame. Brene Brown is an incredible
fountof knowledge on this subject. Check out her latest book, Braving the Wilderness.
- Rejection. Will I be rejected? What will others think? Whether you think your family, friends, or co-workers may shun you, leave you, or think less of you, it’s all a form of rejection and can be combated with self-confidence. The more confident you are in yourself and your decisions, the less concerned you’ll be with others rejecting you. Let’s face it. If you know something is right for you, the people who like and love you should be supportive even if they have advice and opinions to share. Listen to the opinions, consider the advice, but make the decision you know is best and feel really good about it. The more you do that, the stronger your light grows and it will be shining directly on your beautiful self, not the people who have a problem with your choice.
I believe these are universal questions that pop up for most of us when we’re evaluating major decisions. If you get lost in the question, you get frozen in fear. If you see the questions as beacons to deep needs you need to address, you can grow and make better decisions. The more the underlying qualities are strengthened, the less these questions pop up and hang around when faced with big decisions.
Answer DOUBT with TRUST.
Answer WORTH with LOVE.
Answer SHAME with VULNERABILITY.
Answer REJECTION with CONFIDENCE.
The more you shine the light on trusting and loving yourself with the courage to be vulnerable and the confidence to get things done, the more these fears subside and you access your truth. A truth that will guide you swiftly and knowingly to exactly what your heart, mind, and soul need at that very moment.
Whether you’re there now or will be soon, hold onto these tips. Hopefully, they’ll help guide you at the next crossroads.
See you there!
Do you have any different fears that come up for you when you’re evaluating big choices? Are you facing a major decision now? I’d love to hear about them. Please share your insights, questions, and stories in the comments section!