Overwhelmed by choices?
What will be eat for breakfast? Will I have coffee, juice or water? What will I wear? Which way will I drive to work today? And so it goes…
Then there are times when there is a big decision to make like a choice of career, doing something in our business or voting for your government. These times can feel overwhelming and we want to gather as much information as possible to make the best decision so on we search through social media, friends, advisors, magazines & books. Soon enough that big decision we had to make seems enormous now that we have access to everyone’s opinion!
This morning I was reading a fantastic article on how people vote in the May edition of The Psychologist by Christian Jarrett, and of the top ten factors that affect our choices, emotions is one.
I think it’s fair to say that our emotions influence our decisions and when we feel overwhelmed it really doesn’t help that decision making process! How many of us make choices based on our moods then later regret them. I know I certainly have! Interestingly Jarrett’s article also makes a reference to how the weather has an influence too. How many people do you know are happy if it’s rained for two weeks non stop? The good news is that we can still make decisions that are right for us in those moments.
The first step, in my opinion, to making the best decision at any time is taking time to reflect on your mood and your thoughts. The good news is that there are many ways this is possible. Things I do include meditating, exercise and taking time to relax.
The second step is accepting you feel the way you do and let go of all judgement. The only person that is judging the way you feel is you. It’s very empowering once you acknowledge that and just accept the way you feel.
The third step is to do something about the way you feel if you are feeling tired or emotional. If you feel tired then have a wee cat nap, or do something that will energise you. Or if you feel emotional then turn that into a strength. For example I can get quite impatient sometimes, I then realise it’s my indicator that I am procrastinating and so I acknowledge what needs to change.
Finally, the fourth step is do something every day that you are passionate about. When we are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of our choices it’s usually because we are doing everything for everyone else and nothing, or very little, for ourselves. We love our partners, children, family, friends and we love what we do but if we are not loving ourselves then very quickly we start to resent the time we spend doing things for others. Amazingly you will find that you are far more productive when you do something for yourself every day, preferably in the morning. I notice very quickly if I am not doing something just for me every day and even when I am sometimes I need to ramp that up a bit more when I am ill or feeling a bit more emotional about something, as a fellow coach helped me to identify earlier this week. For info, my passions are reading, writing and having inspirational conversations so you might see a few more blogs and a book before the year is over!
Another tip, which may help is that apparently all the great leaders have their wives or husbands choose some of their clothes, and only have a few key items to choose themselves so it frees up their mind to make the important choices. I can certainly relate to that! I used to stand in front of the wardrobe for about ten minutes deciding what to wear and it’s not a big wardrobe. Now I have a few of the same shirts and jeans. It really does make life so much easier.
© Helen Monaghan
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The image was taken from another blog on choices which is quite an interesting read too and can be found here:
http://www.techdrawl.com/post/choices (last accessed 2 May 2015)
And, if you wish to read the full article on The Psychology of Voting it can be found here:
http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/04/the-psychology-of-voting-digested.html (last accessed 2 May 2015)