I had two great opportunities in front of me, but I could only choose one. I felt like someone just dropped a ton of bricks on my head. The stress of trying to decide was weighing down on me. I knew I could not responsibly say yes to both, so I had to make a decision. My thoughts were racing for what seemed like forever. Which do I choose? What do I do next?
We live in such a fast paced world, and it seems like everyone has a short attention span. Everything is expected right now. So of course, I felt extreme pressure to take action. I began to weigh the pros and cons. I thought about my affirmations and which project suited my overall mission best. Whenever I would make a decision to go with one, I would change my mind and want to choose the other.
There was no time to think, I had to make an decision right now.
When You Don’t Know What to Do…
I then remembered this video I saw, perhaps a few months back, of Oprah. She was talking about a time in her life when she was under a lot of pressure surrounding her OWN network, it wasn’t doing as great as she’d hoped.
She said instead of running here or there to ask for advice, instead of jumping to take “action”, she did nothing.
At the time, I thought this was strange because I truly believe nothing can happen if you do not put action to your words. We hear all the time that planning, creating actionable steps and developing habits are the “only” sure-fire ways to move to the next level in life. I’ve even written posts about this same philosophy.
But lately I have been working on my spiritual growth, and I’ve found quite a few readings that suggest the opposite.
There is power in being still.
So…as I sat on my couch wondering what to do, I looked to my left at my patio, and I decided that I was going to make a different choice this time.
I went outside and I sat.
It had rained only a few moments prior and the clouds still lingered. I’ve just moved into a new apartment and it’s right above the pool. Usually it’s bustling with energy in the middle of a day on a Saturday, but today it was quiet.
I stared out into the distance and I didn’t even try to think at first. I just experienced the quiet. Eventually, I did start to ask questions, what do I do? I didn’t get an answer right away but I came to the conclusion that I would sit out there until one of two things occurred.
Either the answer would come to me or I’d feel better. Whichever came first.
I probably spent about 15-20 minutes out there, but what happened was pretty incredible. I calmed down, and my mind began to clear. I finally saw the power in being still when you aren’t sure what to do.
You Become More Mindful
Emotions are fleeting, and if we make decisions under their pressure one can only assume that our choices, at least partly, are based on these emotions. By forcing ourselves to wait instead, we are giving ourselves time to appropriately consider our options.
I know i’m guilty of making decisions sometimes while in the heat of the moment. Honestly, I don’t think we can always avoid these situations. Life happens and we don’t always get the opportunity to walk away. But the more I think about it, there are certainly decisions in my life that I could (and probably should) have taken time to consider more. Had I done this, I could have quiet possibly made a different choice and avoided some pitfalls in life.
This is all speculation of course, but i’m sure we all have those moments we look back on and say, “Man, I wish I could go back and time and choose the other option!” But, it’s not about regretting our past choices, it’s about growing and making sure that our choices moving forward are what’s truly best for us.
I can also admit, that I haven’t gotten in tune with myself enough to realize when I am, in fact, making a decision based on my emotions versus fact. I imagine it will take some practice before I can know when they are playing more of a role in my decision making than they should. Taking the time to be still should help me with this.
The Action You Do Take, Is Intentional
I am working on living a more intentional life. I want my work to be meaningful and the connections I make to be genuine. I don’t see how I can do that without first having a conversation with myself on what I need/want out of life. Making rash decisions in the moment does not lead me to a more intentional life either. I’ve taken away one major idea from this past weekend.
Taking immediate action isn’t always the answer.
But taking deliberate, well thought out action however, that seems to be heading in the right direction. When you are at a crossroads, it seems the first think we should think to do, is nothing.
I’m thankful that I took some personal time to think before taking action this past weekend. I eventually made my decision, and i’m looking forward to telling you about it in the very near future!
Let’s Have a Chat!
What do you think about being still? Is it an important decision making step for you? What are some of the best ways you like to clear your mind? Let me know in the comments below!