You have a decision to make and you don't know what you should do. You keep running things over in your head, but you just can't seem to figure out what's best. Going over things repeatedly isn't moving you forward, it's just making you feel more frustrated and unsettled.
Here are five ways you can gain clarity when you're struggling to make a decision and can't figure out what you should do.
Tip #1: Sleep on it; or at least take a break.
Sometimes, you just need to step away from the problem for a while, allowing time for things to percolate in your subconscious mind. When you come back to the issue, you're able to look at it with fresh eyes and a clearer perspective.
Sleeping on the problem is ideal, as you have the whole night for your subconscious to work on it. But stepping away briefly and shifting your focus to something else for a while will also help. Get out for some fresh air, go for a workout, or spend some time on your favourite hobby. By the time you get back to the issue, something may jump out at you that you weren't seeing before.
Tip #2: Make a list of the pros and cons.
You need to choose from more than one option, and you're struggling to narrow things down. How do you determine which option is best? Make a list of all pros and cons.
Simply write down the options you're considering, and list the pros and cons for each one. This allows you to look at things more clearly and objectively. You can see and compare all the benefits, as well as all the costs and trade-offs. As you go over the pros and cons, it becomes easier to see which option stands out over the others.
Having a list of pros and cons will also come in handy with tip #3 below.
Tip #3: Identify your priorities based on your own values.
Your decision needs to make sense to you; it needs to align with your personal values. That's why prioritizing is so important. In making your decision, what matters most to you?
If you have a pros and cons list, prioritize the items from most important to least important based on your values. A certain course of action might make sense for someone else, but not for you based on your values.
This exercise is especially useful if you're feeling pressured or influenced by other people's opinions, as it helps you get tuned in to what you really want.
Tip #4: Work it out in writing.
As you mull things over in your head, it can start to feel as if you're going in circles and getting nowhere. Writing things out is a great way to sort through all the mental clutter and start organizing your thoughts.
Give yourself permission to write down whatever you're thinking and feeling. As you engage in the self-reflection necessary to capture your inner world on paper, you'll be amazed at how much gets revealed and clarified in the process. Answers will often appear seemingly from nowhere, and you'll begin to gain insight into what you should do.
Tip #5: Listen to what your body is telling you.
This last tip may well be the most important one. As you work on making your decision, pay attention to how your body is responding.
As you consider a particular course of action, how do you feel inside? Do you feel a sense of excitement and an eagerness to proceed? Does your body feel strong and energized? This kind of bodily response is often an indication that something is a good fit for you. That doesn't necessarily mean it will turn out perfectly. However, you're far more likely to feel good about having gone down that road, no matter what the outcome is.
And what if your feelings are more on the negative side as you consider certain options? Do you feel a sense of hesitancy, dread, perhaps even foreboding? At any point do you feel a tightness in your stomach? Pay attention to anything that makes you feel unsettled, heavy, or perhaps even physically ill.
No-one wants to be stuck feeling confused and muddled when it's time to make a decision. When you find yourself in that situation, ease that pressure by experimenting with these tried and true methods for gaining the clarity you need.
Feeling conflicted about anything in your life can be confusing, frustrating, and draining. Discover ways you can gain clarity when you're struggling with feeling conflicted.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.