First, I apologize for not writing more consistently. I have been wandering the world as I work. I had to make some decisions on how best to use my time without killing too many brain cells.
Second, I’ve been reflecting on how best I can serve you with this blog. I thought refining my focus would help me find the inspiration to write while giving you useful ideas and perspective.
I decided to base this blog on what shows up as “The Theme of the Week” when I’m teaching or coaching. There always seems to be one major theme that shows up for all my coaching clients on specific days. It is often carried over into my teaching.
The theme of this week was Making Major Life Decisions. This is a common theme for my clients since I attract Wanderers.
You make decisions all day long, many of them unconscious based on your past experiences, such as what to do first when you first wake up and what steps you take to drive your car out of the driveway. Other decisions require some deliberation, such as what clothing to wear or what street to turn onto.
Your major life and work decisions are more time-consuming, brain-confusing and scary enough to make a normally-confident woman feel as if she has gone mad.
The problem is that you want to make “the right decision.” Most likely, there is no possible way for you to know at this moment what will happen to you in the future regardless of what choice you make.
The only data you have is what you know to be true and how you feel about each choice RIGHT NOW. Everything else is speculation that may or may not come true.
Most of the decisions my clients bring to me relate to job or career choices. Most often, their current situation is tolerable if not good. Otherwise the choice would be easy. Therefore, the new option they are facing has some benefits today and paints a cool possibility for the future.
It’s the future possibility that messes with your mind. There is no way of knowing if this will be the chance of a lifetime or a big mistake.
Regardless, your decision-making is a crap shoot. There are pros and cons for each decision. Therefore, contrary to what a lot of coaches would do, I ask my clients to go to the dark side instead of focusing on the best possibilities.
First, let me say that it is likely that no decision will be wrong. You struggle most with decisions that offer two or more good options. Your angst with leaving a bad option is another issue altogether.
Therefore, when you can’t make a choice among good options, know that whatever you choose will turn out alright. You may have regrets for what you didn’t choose but that’s life. The more we age, the more regrets we can count up even when the decision we made was the best at the time. So my first question is:
1. Which choice will leave you with more regrets?
If the answer isn’t clear, I ask:
2. Looking at each choice, how difficult will it be to move on if it doesn’t work out? There is always another step beyond your current choice. Consider your choice as a part of the path instead of the destination.
3. If you had no choice and had to leave what you are doing today, would you be grateful for the new opportunity or just relieved to have the choice made for you? New opportunities are not necessarily gifts or omens sent by the universe. They show up when you do good work. You are not being ungrateful if you turn down an opportunity. You will get more offers in the future.
4. Which choice could leave you feeling more lonely, really? Although you may be offered a fabulous new challenge, you want to make sure your support system is intact regardless. It is easier to deal with disappointments when you have family, friends and a coach to reach out to. However, remember that you can deal with loneliness most anywhere so don’t use this as an excuse to relax your fear. Be realistic with this answer; it’s important.
No decision will be perfect. Most decisions seem to work out in the end. You aren’t crazy. You are blessed to have options for your life. So make your choice and hang on for the ride. You could be facing a similar decision next year.