Mulling it Over

Do what other people have to say sway the decisions you make in your life? I used to base all my decisions on what other people thought. Any crisis will do. Keys stuck in the ignition? Call my dad. Boyfriend acting like a jerk? Call my girlfriends. Yup, everyone was the expert on what I should do with my life but me.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you need to get out of your own head. Especially if you’ve been whirling around a certain issue in your mind for a while. Sometimes an outside perspective can help put things in perspective or can cast the issue in a whole new light.

Of course, one of the problems with putting too much emphasis on what other people think is that at one point or another, you’re bound to get conflicting advice. When you’re dealing with  advice that ranges from “Dump his ass!” to “Boys are just like that. Don’t worry.”, the answer isn’t always clear. And then you end up with knots in your tummy that are so large that all you want is an answer, any answer, to make it go away. And that answer isn’t always the right one.

Sometimes you have to get back into the driver’s seat of your own life. Even though you’re scared the decision you make might be the wrong one. Even though you’re pretty sure your neighbour three blocks over had the same issue as you and probably has some good advice to share. You’re the best expert on you. You know yourself better than anyone else ever will. And what worked for Sarah down the road might do nada for you.

Here’s what I do these days when I have some big ol’ scary problem in front of me. I ask people’s opinions. I listen with my mind and heart open. And then I shut everything down. I turn off my tv, my computer, my phone and my ipod and  I sit with myself and the issue at hand. I go through all the feelings. I go through all the what ifs. I go through all the shoulda, woulda, couldas. And I pay attention to which thoughts ring true to me. Which thoughts give me that icky feeling in my gut? I find my gut gives me the answer I’m looking for (but not always the answer I’m hoping for). 

 How do you deal with tough decisions?


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