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Struggling with big decisions? You may not be making the space necessary for those answers to arrive.
Every day I work with people who are in the throes of making difficult decisions like changing careers or relocating.
They come to me for help thinking through their options and working through their overwhelm. I guide them through a process of introspection, information gathering, and taking action.
But even with all the information at our fingertips and all the support by our side, making a difficult decision is still making a difficult decision. When the moment comes to push the button—to say yes or no—we still look for more information. Just a little more "something" that will help us decide if we're doing the right thing.
That's the moment when I just might say, "Stop everything."
You have all the information you need. You've done your due diligence. All that's left is to silence the mind and clear a space for the answer to arise.
A puzzle box can contain every single piece you need to create a beautiful picture, but those pieces can only be fitted together once your space is cleared.
As a writer I regularly have days when the right word isn't coming to me. When a storyline hits a brick wall. Lately I've noticed that the less I try to force the answers I'm seeking, the more likely they are to appear. In fact, this happens so often now that one would think I'd become accustomed to it, but I'm amazed every single time.
When we're faced with big decisions we must do the work of seeking out information, exploring our options, and enlisting our supporters. But we must also create a space for the answers to arrive. A cluttered and racing mind is too full and too busy to let them in.
The answers you need will rise to greet the stillness that you create.
From my latest article at PsychologyToday.com
After my high school graduation I attended a couple semesters at a culinary arts school. It was a strange little satellite campus of a larger university, and it ultimately wasn’t a good fit. However, it planted the seed of an idea that I've now revisited over 15 years later. During orientation at culinary school each student was given a rigid blue plastic box—about the size of a 3-ring binder—filled with blank pages like a scrapbook. It was designed to be a professional development portfolio where we could store our resume, certificates of achievement, and anything else that would highlight our career accomplishments. In theory, it was a great concept to encourage us to develop a career mindset. But ultimately its high dork factor—the expectation that we would carry the blue box into job interviews—relegated mine to the thrift store donation bin.
Now that I’m in the position of helping people navigate their career exploration, I’ve tweaked the concept of the blue box into a comprehensive career journal. Valuable at every stage in one’s career, it’s a personalized notebook or binder where we store and explore all things career and personal-professional development. In this article I've included all of the general framework components of the career journal. While one might add folders for resumes and certificates of achievement, the primary goal is to conduct an in-depth exploration and inventory of a comprehensive range of career topics. Click here to read the career toolkit creation tips on my blog at Psychology Today.