How do you react when things are going good in your life? When all the pieces are falling perfectly into place, do you take time to delight in the moment or do you begin to anticipate your next crisis?
Does This Sound Like You?
You've longed for a relationship with someone but when a person you like comes along and things are going well, suddenly you feel overwhelmed. Why, after you agree to take your relationship to the next step, do you worry you've moved too fast and want to back out?
You've thought long and hard about asking for a raise or promotion, but when you get it, you're overwhelmed. Why, after stepping out on a limb to ask for the better position and more money do you suddenly panic and feel overwhelmed when you get it?
You've looked forward to retirement and it is right around the corner. But suddenly you're filled with fear and self-doubt as the time draws near for you to choose the best option for your retirement annuity. Why are you so exhausted until the decision is made?
Second Guessing and Higher Expectations
If you find yourself paralyzed in fear, wondering if you made the right choice after getting something you wanted, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
Those of us who live in cultures that believe in freedom of choice--and who have many choices for creating our lives--are the same ones who have the luxury to second guess our choices.
The world of many choices--while providing us a plethora of options--also puts the responsibility for making the best choices squarely on our shoulders--and this is where things can get confused in our thinking--especially when our decisions affect others as well as ourselves.
"When we have the freedom to chose a life path instead of having one thrust on us, we feel the responsibility of our choices and it raises our expectations for the outcomes."
Suddenly, we're self-conscious about our choices. Is it the right one? Could I have chosen better? Is this one going to bite me down the road? What if I'm missing another opportunity because I'm committed to this one? What if my perfect mate comes along while I'm in this relationship and I fail to recognize it? What if I'm just leading this person on?
Facing the Moment Before and After You Choose Calmly
To be happy and open up to the possibilities of your good choices you must let go of over-thinking your decisions.
'Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.'
What does this mean? Indecision is exhausting--making the moments before you make a choice uncomfortable--while anticipating what will go wrong after you make a decision stressful. It is living in the 'world of should' that creates the tension and discomfort throwing you into a mental fog and leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
Enough Already! Choose and Stop Thinking
When you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a stress response--wanting to 'fight or take flight', or 'argue or withdraw' as you transition into that good relationship, job, or retirement stop over-thinking it. In fact, stop thinking. Put it down and do something else.
Over-thinking what it all means makes you jittery. When you stop thinking, and focus on being in the moment instead, you'll stop your creeping expectations from turning into 'a big pile of should' and allow a bit of serendipity to show up.
Truth is we all want to be pleasantly surprised and caught off guard by random acts of kindness and moments of creativity, love and fun in our daily life. We can lose that sense of being pleasantly surprised in little ways when we raise our expectations too high.
So lighten up! Stop putting so much importance on your every choice after you step into something good. Your choice is for now, not for all eternity. Let things unfold naturally. If you start to feel overwhelmed, get sleep and down time.
'You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.' Paulo Coelho
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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.
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