I made a couple of decisions today.
I cut my hair shorter than it’s ever been before.
And I decided to move out of my apartment in Brooklyn.
The haircut probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. And it isn’t, on its own.
But it is, as I used it. As momentum for the other, bigger decision.
Big decisions, like moving, can feel extremely difficult. I often have a really hard time actually making a decision when all choices seem like they could be good. I understand the whole idea of making the decision that feels “right in your heart” or your gut instinct, and following the breadcrumbs. Of course. But when all choices seem like they COULD be great… what gives?
That’s the essence of life, sometimes we have to choose between 2 or more REALLY GREAT THINGS. Maybe even phenomenal things. That’s the entire point in The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us. The sister life that we’ll never live. It could have been great. But we’ll never know, we can only “salute it from the shore.” Which is beautiful, but also gives me anxiety, because um…how the heck do we actually make a decision, then!?
Sometimes, even when we know what we truly want, the actual MAKING of the decision is still difficult, because we know there will be a lot of change that comes after it, or we may disappoint someone, or the choice we don’t end up going with could actually be awesome – and that is really confusing.
I keep thinking of Ben saying, “I have to say goodbye to a woman who doesn’t deserve it. AND I’M CONFUSED ABOUT THAT!” Watch this clip for 3 minutes and 42 seconds of pure, gut-wrenching indecision. (If you are judging me for quoting The Bachelor in my blog, please click here).
YES BEN, I KNOW. DECISIONS ARE HARD.
I’ve been up at night thinking about this moving-out-of-my-apartment decision for way too long.
And that’s why I got a haircut.
Because there’s something to be said about decision-making momentum.
Deciding to cut my hair short wasn’t a life-changing decision, but it was one that got me into a state of decision-making momentum. I knew I needed to make a smaller decision in order to amp up that momentum to make the bigger one. Quite frankly, I was sick of being so indecisive. So I walked straight into a hair salon I’d never been in before, sat in that chair and told a stylist I’d never met to chop about 8 inches off of my hair.
There’s a sunbeam on me, which tells me it was the right move. ;)
As I sat in that chair watching my locks of hair fall to the floor, I realized that the only reason I hadn’t given my landlord notice yet was out of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting out of my comfort zone, fear of stirring things up, fear of the conversation I’d have to have with my landlord, (seriously he’s a great landlord and I have a terrible fear of disappointing people…topic for another post), fear of actually making a decision.
I called my landlord immediately after I got out of the haircut. Yes, the conversation felt hard to me because OF COURSE I was still scared. I was scared, but I was in action. It felt like a huge relief to finally have made the decision.
My friend Danielle posted something recently that made me feel things. She’s in the middle of a big move herself. She said about leaving her place:
“It was my little sanctuary. My place to look up at the blue skies and palm trees and trust in the beauty of life. And now this little patio gets to go in my heart. Along with all the memories I’ve come to bliss out over throughout my journey. It’s hard to say goodbye. Yet it’s even harder to stay where you’ve outgrown.”
It’s even harder to stay where you’ve outgrown.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Decision-Making
Today in the haircut chair, along with the decision-making-momentum theory, I came up with a list of questions that could be helpful to ask yourself when faced with a difficult decision.
1. If you were forced to make the decision RIGHT NOW IN THIS VERY SECOND, YOU HAVE TO – QUICK! NO MORE TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT! What decision would you make?
2. Regarding the choices you have in front of you — which choice would be made out of fear? Especially fear of the unknown, fear of change, or fear of disappointing others – even if that choice had the possibility to open up your world to what you truly want?
3. Is one of the choices keeping you stagnant in your life? Does one of the choices reflect something you know that you’ve outgrown?
4. Do you already know what you’re going to choose eventually, and you’re just buying time so you don’t have to go through the work you’ll have to do after you decide?
5. When you picture yourself in a few years, smiling, happy, vibrant – what choice did you make in this situation?
Those are just a few to get your brain ticking.
And please, don’t forget the power of decision-making momentum. Try it with something small, but that isn’t an everyday easy decision. Something that takes a bit of courage, but less courage than “THE” decision. If you still need more momentum, practice making a few other small-to-medium decisions (especially the ones that scare you a little, but excite you even more) until you work up the momentum for the bigger ones.
What do you guys do when faced with crippling indecision? Any tips?
Feeling the fear(s), doing it anyway —