How are you at making up your mind?
This post is for anyone who struggles with procrastination, commitments, motivation, or making decisions…especially while experiencing an emotional “slump,” or what may be stealth grief.
First, put simply, grief is a result of emotional distress about change, either ambiguous or tangible. And it can manifest itself in the form of all the struggles listed above.
Secondly, decisions can be hard! The confusion about a decision can make you feel quite stuck. You may want to stare into a crystal ball and know the outcome. You may want to feel safe and secure with what lies ahead. You may want to minimize consequences and regrets. You want to feel good, but instead maybe feel a little incompetent or even paralyzed.
Confusion can be uncomfortable.
To validate you, making decisions, sticking to them, and feeling confident about them can be a challenge for many; in grief, it’s ten-fold. Your indecision and lack of movement can feel like crushing weight added to an already heavy journey. It almost feels easier to curl up into a ball…just let time figure it out instead.
Apathy can set in, and you may think you don’t care. Hopelessness has a voice that whispers, “it does not matter.” Sometimes we just want to be told what to do.
Here is some accountability for you: Indecision is a decision. Someday, you are going to care about your present circumstances and choices. Maybe not right now. That is okay. But your future self is going to thank you for the positive action you take today.
Be in the uncertainty and take one step forward at a time.
Ideas on how to move forward in making a decision, big or small:
- Seek out the counsel of wise and trusted friends. Counsel is different from advice because it means someone is holding space for you to voice your thoughts and concerns without weighing in with their projections, opinions, or input. Ask someone to JUST LISTEN to you, and reflect back your words to you. They don’t have to have an answer. In fact, better if they don’t. Rather, they can empathically witness your choices and your process.
- Seek a professional counselor or therapist to help you explore your process and emotional vacillation. They can assist you in weighing the pros and cons. They are trained to be an empathic witness. Sometimes we just need to hear our own thoughts reflected back to us out-loud for more clarity.
- Make a move, and remember the reliability of impermanence. You have the intelligence to pick something, and stand behind it or to change course if you need to in the future.
- Remember that your decisions could both be “right.” Sometimes there are crossroads, with two or more good directions in which to go. All choices we make will have costs and benefits. Remembering this can help take the pressure off of our decisions as we can lean into the reality of life: there always seems to be some good within the bad, and some bad within the good.
- Take a deep breath. Take a walk outside. Pet your dog. Remember that you are safe right now.
I hope this is helpful and that you know you are not the only one to struggle with procrastination, motivation, commitments, or decision making. It’s a common experience. Maybe it is a symptom of unprocessed grief.