When faced with a large number of choices coming at us from multiple changes in our lives, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, it is easy to become overwhelmed or hindered by decision fatigue. When this occurs, the best way out is by creating a sense of order. One way to do this is by prioritizing; separating the most important things from the non-essential, and making decisions accordingly.
The teeter and totter of the head and the heart.
There is a hazard to focusing too much on order and organizing, however, and that is the risk of relying too much on left-brain, rational or linear thinking; what I’ll refer to as the head. Sure, reason and rational thinking can be your friend during times of disruption; however, sometimes a heavy reliance on thinking to the neglect of what you're feeling can result in choices that don't align with what you really want but instead fit closer to what you think you should want.
Conversely, a lopsided reliance toward one’s feelings and emotions, which I’ll call the heart, to the detriment of reasoning and logic, can lead to impulsive, but poorly construed decisions that could backfire in the longer-term.
Sometimes we want a change to go a certain way even if we don't feel quite right about it. But going with what we think is right without also considering what feels right, or going with what feels good in the moment, without also considering what makes the most sense, may very well result in regret.
To find balance, listen.
To balance things out, especially for changes and choices you consider of high importance, it is often helpful to sit with them for a little while.
Take a walk of contemplation, or even a shower. Meditate if that's your thing. Talk to other people who are good listeners, and/or whose insights you trust. Consider other, similar choices you've made in the past; what worked, what didn't and why? When you think about the change, how does it make you feel physically? Emotionally? Are there aspects that make you happy? Anxious? Afraid? Weary?
The paradox of choices during change.
With change can also come paradox where making choices is concerned. We often avoid questions such as the ones listed above for one of two reasons:
1. We feel pressured to choose quickly.
The paradox is that during the times when we feel the most pressure to choose is when it is most important to pause and truly consider our options, our interests, what we want, what we feel, what makes sense and why, and any outside influences that may be affecting our ability to make a clear, concise choice.
2. We're worried we might not like our answers.
The paradox here is that the most important time to ask ourselves difficult and challenging questions is when we least want to answer them. Resistance can often be the door to understanding, so when we experience it, that is the time to put on our badge of courage in order to gain true insight into what's going on in both our heads, and our hearts. It might be difficult, but it is well worth the effort, and we often feel much better once we’ve faced those things we may feel, but have not yet truly acknowledged.
Beware of the potential wolf in sheep's clothing.
Balancing between the head and the heart, and facing head-on the paradoxes of choices during change are important to ensure we make decisions that are aligned with our true desires.
But there is another potential hazard during these times. One to which many of us fall victim without realizing it; our social circle and who we talk to when we’re working through touch-decisions during change. More about that in tomorrow’s post.
Share your experiences.
How about you? Have you experienced times when you've relied more on your head or your heart when making choices during change? Which do you lean towards when making choices under pressure?
Leave a comment below and let's have a conversation!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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