Pizza or Sushi? Chocolate or vanilla? Comedy or Drama? Even life’s smallest decisions can throw us for a loop sometimes– that’s what we call “first world problems”! But what about those big life-altering decisions– such as quitting a job, moving to a different state or buying a new home? Our poor heads go into overdrive, weighing all the options, assessing the risk, the reward, the pros, the cons and everything in between. Because after all, nobody wants to make the wrong decision! However, when we overthink, we create more stress and confusion than necessary and it can actually sway us from making the best decision possible. So in today’s episode, I’ll show you how to easily and effectively handle life’s bigger choices!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- How to handle the overwhelm and confusion of big decision-making
- Quick tips to ensure you make the right decision
- What to do when you STILL don’t know!
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Welcome back everybody. Thanks so much for being here as always.
Today, I am talking about “Making Big Decisions.” And when I say “big” I mean decisions that will ultimately change the trajectory of your life. For example, quitting a job, moving to a different state, buying a new home, making a large investment, having a baby, and so on. Decisions that will affect your current lifestyle and what your day to day experience looks and feels like right now.
I was inspired to talk about this today because not only did I have to make a big financial decision– whether or not to make a large monetary investment into my business, but at the same time, it seemed like so many people around me were facing their own weighty decisions as well.
And I thought, this is so strange. Like I was getting phone calls from my mom and having lunch with a friend and talking to Nathan and it just seemed like everyone around me was in their own space of limbo– trying to figure out “to do, or not to do,” that was the question!
And although I was trying to process my own situation and tap into my own intuition for answers, it was fascinating to witness similar conversations and emotions and similar trains of thought.
So I knew I had to talk about it today. Because whether you’re faced with a life-altering decision right now or in the future, there are a few tips and tricks I have for you to reduce any stress that you might be feeling about making such a big decision.
Let’s first talk about overwhelm– the overwhelm we feel by indecision. Because initially (once we come face to face with a decision, whether it’s something we brought on ourselves or an opportunity that presented itself to us) there’s a period of time where it’s like we’re sitting at a yellow light. We have the option to press on the gas and GO or put our foot on the brake and stay still.
Now, the length of time we remain in this pending state will vary of course from person to person. It might be 30 seconds, 5 minutes, a day, a few days, a week, a month and so on.
Regardless of how long, it’s the time and space that we a lot of us OVERTHINK.
Should I do this? Yea, I think I should. I mean I want to. I think I want to, right? Yes, I want to. But I don’t know. Do I? It’s a big one. Am I ready? I think I’m ready. Or at least I think I’m ready? Am I really ready? I don’t know. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No.
We go back and forth and back and forth, obsessively weighing the pros and cons, trying to make sense of what we want and at the same time managing our fears around it.
Cue the overwhelm.
We overthink and overthink and overthink, in an attempt to get to a place of clarity.
But the problem with that, is that the answer we so desperately seek is not found in our minds. It’s found in our bodies. And I’ll talk more about that in a second.
But first, I just want you to pay attention to that constant stream of thinking in your mind and how it’s causing you to FEEL.
Overwhelmed, stressed, confused, exhausted. Crazy.
And pay attention to how you’re not getting any closer to the answer! In fact, you’re getting further and further away from a clear answer! You were probably closer to knowing what to do when the opportunity first presented itself to you. But we’re so quick to overanalyze.
Also, I want you to pay attention to your “need” to know what to do right now. We want so badly to just know “yes” or “no.” Because we think that if we know the right answer and just commit, then we won’t feel so overwhelmed, stressed, confused, exhausted or crazy anymore.
And I can’t help but laugh at that. Because how many times have you made a decision and then you wonder if it was the right decision. And then you start questioning and overthinking again.
Did I make the right decision. I hope I made the right decision. I think I made the right decision. Yea, I did. Did I? Oh gosh, I don’t know!
Right? And then the overwhelm, stress, confusion and whatever else returns.
And then before we know it, our an entire decision-making process was made from this heady, fearful, place.
But what if I told you that you didn’t have to make a decision before you can feel relaxed and at peace? What if I told you that by feeling relaxed and at peace first, is the way to making the best decision!
That’s the point that people are missing. Your internal guidance system will point you in the direction you’re meant to go, whether that mean GO or stay put. But we can’t hear what it’s saying if we’re so busy in our heads.
The key is to get still and not obsesses. The key is to relax, go back to your regular programming and let the answer unfold organically.
Now maybe you’re listening and thinking, “Well Shaina, I gotta make a decision right now. I don’t have time to sit on this and let the answer come to me. If I want that house, I need to make an offer on it. My friend is leaving in a week to move to Florida. I’m either in or I’m out. I gotta let them know like yesterday.”
OK, so again, even with a deadline of sorts, what’s so bad about getting still and not knowing?
Most likely, you’d respond, because I actually need to know. I need to give an answer.
OK, so what’s so bad about not having an answer to give?
Guys, not making a decision is still making a decision. Right? So like even if an offer of some kind will expire in 3 days, and when that 3 days comes and goes, and you don’t FEEL 100% ready to make a decision– so you do nothing, that is still a decision!!
Gosh that takes so much pressure off needing to know.
And notice how I said FEEL 100%. Not think or convince yourself 100%, but FEEL 100%. But you can’t feel that feeling of yes or no or anything in between if you’re so in your head.
Like I briefly mentioned earlier, recently I had a big decision to make myself. At the start of this year, I knew that I wanted to really invest back into my business. So I hired somebody early in the year and it’s been going great. I then knew I wanted to hire a second person. So I did some research and I found a woman who seemed to fit the bill. So it started with a meeting over face time, then I was presented with a proposal and then I was in contact with her assistant to get the ball rolling.
The package that was presented to me was a big investment, monetarily speaking. And the days passed by, I still had not signed the contract nor did I make any type of deposit. Because I knew that by doing so, I was all in. And I wasn’t 100% sure yet.
So just like we’re talking about today, initially I went into “overthink” mode and it was only making me more crazy and more confused. So I had to get still you guys. Even though I knew there was this “Friday” deadline to sign and send payment, overthinking my way to the answer was not working. It was just stressing me out.
So here’s what I did instead.
Again, I got still. I went back to my routine and focused on doing whatever I intended to do with my time that day– all while, trusting that if Friday were to come and I “still didn’t know what to do,” and I didn’t FEEL 100% ready then I wouldn’t do anything right now.
Even though I knew and know 100% that I want to invest back into my business, doesn’t mean that I had to rush the opportunity or chance to do so if that opportunity or timing of it didn’t feel 100% right.
I hope that makes sense. So my mom for example, is looking to buy a new home. She knows 100% that she wants to buy a new home. Just like, I know 100% that I want to outsource specific tasks of my business. Just like somebody else knows 100% that they want to quit their job. It’s that feeling of “YES, this is what I want.”
But from there you want to be careful. You want to continue to lead with that deeper part of you and make decisions from that place. It’s very easy to be presented with something that on a surface level checks that box off…
For my mom, it was a house that she went to look at.
For me, it was this shiny proposal in front of me.
For the person who wants to quit their job, it’s a job opening around the corner.
But, just because an opportunity presents itself, doesn’t mean it’s the right one.
Sometimes it is! Sometimes it absolutely is. But sometimes it’s not. And if we’re leading with that graspy energy to just get a house, to just hire someone, to just leave my job, we risk making the wrong decision.
So in order to avoid that, I suggest getting still and listening to your body– do you feel free when you think about saying YES? Or do you feel heavy and weighed down when you think about saying YES? Your body will let you know!
My second tip and this is very important if you don’t know what to do– my second tip is to gather more information.
Gather more information! Holy macaroni, if you want clarity, this is your ticket right here. Not overthinking or overanalyzing, but gathering more information!
If you don’t know what to do, it’s a sign that you don’t have enough information and that you haven’t opened your mind to other possibilities and solutions.
Now there are lots of different ways to gather information. And what that looks like is obviously going to depend on the subject matter.
So for me, gathering more information meant getting online, researching which tasks I could potentially handle on my own, finding other copywriters and marketing strategists, scheduling a free call with them, learning about other packages, using that information to compare and contrast, and so on.
If it’s a job opportunity, maybe you meet up with somebody who used to work in that industry and pick their brain.
If it’s a house, you schedule another showing and bring an inspector with you this time around, you take a deeper look at what else the market has to offer, you lay out your finances and what that would look like if you sized up…
Like there are so many unanswered questions that you could be taking the time to answer for yourself. That’s an amazing way to gain more clarity.
Another form of gathering information, is by reaching out to people you know and getting their take on the matter.
One of the first things I did was I called my cousin Daniel, who is also a young entrepreneur. I called him up, I explained the situation, I laid out the facts to him and then I just let him talk and share his outlook.
There were some things he said that didn’t resonate with me, but then there were other things that really made me question things that I hadn’t yet questioned– made me go “Ah, I didn’t think of that!” Or “Ah, that’s actually a really good point.”
There’s so much power behind using other people as a sounding board– as a way to sort through our messy thinking and gain a fresh, new perspective.
Now, with that being said, I want to be clear here. This does not mean that you reach out to someone you trust and allow he or she to make the decision for you. This is NOT about letting somebody else tell you what you should or should not do. NO!
Yes, the person sitting across from you or on the other end of the phone will have their own opinions. That’s OK. Your job is to just remain present and listen because by doing so, you may uncover things you may have not considered before– and then those new revelations and insights may help guide YOU in the right direction.
Does that make sense? Sometimes, somebody’s opinion or perspective may actually cause an “aha” moment that sends you in the opposite direction of what they think is best. That has happened to me so many times. They’ll say, “I don’t know about that. Sounds risky.” And all of a sudden, I’m like, “OMG, it’s so clear! I’m doing it.”
Now, if you’re at all curious as to what I decided, I’m actually still in the gathering information stage. I did not sign any contract or take the big plunge, as of right now. My cousin offered some really valuable solutions as well as Nathan, so I’m figuring out if there’s a possibility to hire her for more “a la carte” tasks and I have a few meetings scheduled with other experts.
My mom’s offer on the house was accepted, but in the end she backed out. After her offer was accepted, she felt sick to her stomach (never a good sign) and got to also talking to some people when she realized she didn’t feel 100% right about it.
OK, so with all this being said, once you’ve made the absolute best decision for yourself, commit and stay true to your conviction.
Your ego mind will absolutely run wild, try to convince you that you messed up and made the wrong choice. Cue an entire new wave of overwhelm, stress and confusion.
Remember that you made the best decision at the time and put your trust and faith into what’s next and what’s possible.
That is for today you guys. Thank you so much for listening as always. I’ll see you next time!