I have a little rule when buying clothes.
If you try something on, but then find yourself fiddling with it, adjusting it, or pulling it around?
Take it off and don’t buy it, no matter how much you like it, because it’s not right.
Sometimes it’s a bit annoying when you really want it to be right, but I’m never thrilled with the outcome when I go against this particular rule.
If it’s right, it will sit properly and look and feel great with no extra fuss.
This applies to other decisions as well.
Let me give you a funny example.
Earlier in 2012, right before I went through a particularly tricky time, I had a really deep desire for a greater sense of security and certainty (my intuition was onto it). I decided to apply for a part-time teaching role I came across, and figured I could still see clients, just a day or two less and could do this other job (it was 5 days/fortnight). The whole idea seemed super sensible.
The job was at a posh private girls school. I started making adjustments TO MYSELF to fit the idea.
“I’ll need new clothes.
And new shoes.
Oh and new bags.
I will need to go and read a whole lot of papers and websites so I can learn about things I have limited interest in.
And then this: well they might not like me being so public on Facebook and Twitter, so I’ll need to change that (and then worrying: have I ever said anything a school would find inappropriate, ever? I think I’m fine. Am I fine?)
AND THEN: I really should modify my about page to sound a bit more “corporate” (don’t worry I changed it back).
All evidence: worst idea ever.
I mean, not ever. Just not a good idea for me.
I wanted it to be the right idea, at that moment, but it really wasn’t. No amount of fiddling around was going to make it right.
What I really wanted and was craving was greater stability, security and safety and I certainly deserved to have those needs met. In this instance, that didn’t have to come from this particular job. It turned out I was able to create those feelings I desired internally and within my current business.
Luckily, I didn’t even get an interview. A few months later the school ended up all through the media for a money scandal.
And of course well before that I had already realised: I really should listen to my own advice more often.
How to know you’re making the wrong decision.
Here are some tell tale signs:
- You start thinking about how you can change yourself to make the idea work
- There is no flow
- It feels forced
- You find yourself justifying the idea to yourself (and probably others too)
- You can’t stop thinking about it in an endless loop
- You think it should be right and ignore the fact it doesn’t feel right
- You wonder if you can trust your feelings (maybe you wish you didn’t feel the way you do)
- You’re asking other people for their opinions
- You’re looking for examples of other people making the same choices as you – rather than going within and making sure it’s right for you
What to do when you’re not sure if you’re making the wrong decision.
Alas – there are no short-cuts to getting to know yourself and what’s best for you, and noone can do it for you (or me!) You might try:
- Yoga (I love yogaglo.com for online classes)
- Kinesiology sessions
- Structured goal setting and reflection (you might try Leonie Dawson’s fab workbooks)
- My DIY Kinesiology Kit
Journalling questions to explore.
Write out the questions and your answers:
- What do I hope this not quite right person, plan or situation will give me?
- What do I fear might happen if this doesn’t work, I don’t achieve this or this person or situation just isn’t right for me?
- How do I want to feel?
- What are some other options for how I might achieve that?
- Is there any part of me that is seeking a happily-ever-after fantasy at this time, or that doesn’t really want to see the truth?
- What might be different if it were safe to see the truth?
So tell me: have you ever known you were making the wrong decision, but tried to force it to be right?