I’m usually a decisive person, so when I recently couldn’t decide on an apartment, I became concerned.
Why was I experiencing so much angst over this? After all, I’d made far bigger decisions than this quite confidently.
If you’ve ever experienced indecision, you know how paralyising it is. Waking up in the night, endless pro and con lists and that sense that no matter which way you turn, you are going to make a bad decision.
In my case, I realised a few things were triggering the indecision:
- The importance of home as a place of peace and security. Home was the foundation on which I built a successful and happy life- and if I got it wrong, I knew it would have an impact on my happiness. Because it is so important to me, I was trying to anticipate all issues, rather than narrowing down to the key ones that mattered the most. I like to prepare well, but even I can’t prepare for the unpredictable! I realised I was trying to make the perfect decision, when I needed to remind myself that no matter what came up, I had the skills to deal with it. Also, I trusted that God would help me with the right people at the right time.
- Bad past experiences with a noisy neighbour in a previous apartment – I was letting something that happened many years ago cloud my future experience in this apartment. So I used the Mel Robbins 5,4,3,2,1 technique to count into a different mental image -of me enjoying my new apartment in peace.
- The comments of others about the location, facilities and inclusions of both options – I had to stop treating the statements of others as fact, and dig deeper. Was the statement true, or just their perception? And would I have the same perception of the situation?
- The fact that I’d missed out on my ideal option and was being directed elsewhere, as well as not being in charge of my own environment. I needed to remind myself that things happen for a reason, and that while I didn’t see it now, eventually I would understand why the place I really wanted had become an untenable option.
- My heart and my head fighting each other. I knew I had to balance both, rather than go with one or the other. I narrowed down my core issues to facilities, security and access to the key sites I visited most. So when my heart kept leading me in one direction, I remembered which one came ahead in most of these areas.
I knew that the longer I hesitated, the worse I was making the situation. I had to make a choice, and using my list of core features that really mattered, I decided on one apartment and signed the lease.
I felt a sense of relief. My mind was no longer churning through different issues and causing me to wake up in the middle of the night.
But I wouldn’t say I was happy.
I mourned for the other option I’d turned down. And I still wondered if I’d made the right choice.
I realised that my heart was still playing catch up, and I hadn’t even given the other place a chance to find a place in my heart. When I realised that, it freed me up to imagine having great catch ups with friends, cooking delicious meals and enjoying the views from the balcony of the place I’d leased. I set my intention to enjoy my new home, and trusted that I had made the right decision with the information I had – even if I still doubted it at times!
- If you can’t make a decision, it’s okay. Don’t put more pressure on yourself with self-loathing over the fact you are struggling to decide!
- Pick three key issues that really matter in the decision, and assess your options against them. Be prepared for the fact that you may not feel fully sure of your decision. If you can wait, that’s great but if not, move ahead with the choice that matches your requirements best, and trust you have done the right thing with the information at hand.
- Allow yourself to grieve after you’ve made the decision. It will take time for your heart and head to align.