Dealing With Indecision

How often do you experience moments of indecision? Sometimes? All the time? Too often? Although I am pretty clear nowadays when it comes to choosing and deciding, it still happens to me every now and then that I feel doubt or have a hard time to decide in which direction to go. Do you recognize that? Perhaps you have a situation right now where you feel this indecision?

What often happens is that we get stuck in our mind, endlessly comparing pros and cons without coming to a clear preference. Have you noticed how tiring that is? You even feel a fool sometimes because despite all your experience and knowledge you are not able to take a decision.

A recent example reminded me however that we are able to deal with these situations much more easy and effectively than we think.

Indecision is not bad, it is a signal

As a freelance professional I am using all kinds of services to alert me of interesting opportunities that are out there, ranging from interim projects to regular jobs. I think it was a couple of weeks ago, before Christmas, when I got an email alert of what seemed to be a very interesting job.

I started to read the details of the job profile and noticed all kinds of things I normally like in a job: interesting products/services, international travel, challenging circumstances and so on. I bookmarked the website and agreed with myself that I would write an application letter as soon as possible.

As the job was with an international organization, I started to update my English CV. While doing so I noticed that my mind was mulling over this opportunity some more, bringing me all kinds of mixed signals. This threw me slightly off balance and I felt an increasing doubt whether or not to proceed with the application.

For several weeks I was going back and forth between sending in the application, or not, and I seemed unable to come to a clear decision. I didn’t feel bad about this, why would I? I was just surprised and very aware that this was a clear sign that I was not ready to proceed.

Allow time for clarity to come in

Now, if people find themself in a situation like this, the typical  reaction is to start forcing things. In the old days I would have indeed pushed myself, one way or another, to send in the application and get it over with. We all know that this doesn’t really work and it usually cost you a disproportionate amount of time and energy to get it done that way.

Instead of pushing, I allowed myself time to get a more clear feeling about the job and indeed, last week, I felt ready to take one final peek at the whole proposition. I downloaded the organization’s latest annual report and started to scan the pages. Interestingly, while reading, I noticed that I was more feeling into the organization and its activities than studying and analyzing the report as such and very quickly a very clear feeling came over me: don’t proceed! The next thing I did was deleting the materials from my computer and from my “energy system”.

How does this approach feel to you? Does it make sense to wait for clarity to come in? Just take a recent situation where you noticed a level of indecision within yourself. How did you deal with it? Would you be able to put the situation aside waiting for absolute clarity to come in?

If you still feel a little uncertain about this you may also want to read my post about dealing with dilemmas. Or, you can listen to the video clip below, in which Abraham shares some interesting observations about choices, indecision, trying and making things easy on yourself.

And, in case you don’t have time for clarity to come in and must take a decision right away?! Well, decide which choice feels relatively the best and then proceed, knowing that even if later on it appears to be the “wrong” decision it doesn’t matter because the “universe” will bring you the circumstances that are the most appropriate for you anyway (and you may have even enjoyed the detour…:).

iPhone or iPad users: for video please click here.

Please feel free to share your stories and observations regarding indecision.

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One Response to Dealing With Indecision

  1. John McCurdy says:

    Another great article, Jan!

    Something I’ve noticed is how easy it is to start judging myself in these situations, instead of trusting myself, and one of the biggest lessons of my life happened a number of years ago in Sedona, Arizona.

    I had followed a very strong intuitive urge to go there, but I was out of money and living in my camper on public land just outside of town, and I desperately needed work. I was too involved in the intense inner work I was doing to even consider taking a full time job, but I had done a little temp work for a couple in town when I was passing through a few months earlier, and I kept thinking that I should go talk with them and see if they could use me again.

    But every time I thought about it I felt fear of what they would think about me and of what they would say when they found out why I had come back to town, as the man had no use at all for “new age craziness” like intuition. Then my mind started judging me for my fear, and I finally forced myself to drive into town to see them.

    About half way there a new thought occurred to me, and I pulled over to the side of the road to think about it. “What,” the little voice asked, “is your life all about right now?”

    “Learning to trust myself,” I responded.

    “So could you maybe trust your fear?” the little voice asked.

    I was stunned, and in that moment I turned around and went back to my camp and decided to forget about contacting those people, and suddenly I felt much lighter, even though I still had no idea where to get the money I needed. But then, a couple days later I was driving through town and found myself passing their neighborhood, and on a sudden and unexpected urge I turned and drove to their house.

    When I knocked on the door, this time with no fear or hesitation at all, the woman answered and welcomed me in, and I discovered that she was much more open than her husband, who “just happened” to be out for a couple hours, and she was eager to hear what I was doing and was very understanding. She told me they didn’t have any work for me right then, but she sent me to a neighbor who did, and suddenly I had exactly the job that I needed.

    I learned a profound lesson that day about trusting myself, even when my mind tells me it’s just fear, and it has served me very well in the years since.

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