We've all experienced times when we are torn between two options: to focus on our current job or get a new one, to commit to a relationship or keep our options open, to focus on our career or start a family?
These decisions come up in all areas of our life, and when the way forward isn't clear and the decision appears complex, it's often easier to sit back and let fate decide for us.
That's certainly one option. But what happens when fate is slow off the blocks? We start to feel stuck, which is miserable, and at worst we risk missing opportunities.
Leaving things to fate is sometimes the pragmatic choice. However, we are much more likely to get to a positive outcome if we commit our energy to one of the options in front of us.
Take the issue of staying in your current role or getting a new one. Maybe the current role has potential but has some challenges too, and maybe there's something new you want to try but are not sure how to get started, if you'll be any good at it, and whether it will meet your needs.
Making a decision can feel scary, risky, if it's the "wrong" decision maybe there will be no going back?
Committing to either making your current role everything you want it to be, or to finding that new role, will move your life forward. But doing neither turns into paralysis, and you can start to feel that the situation is being "done to you" rather than remembering you are in control.
Oh, but getting to the point of deciding which one to choose - it's just easier to ignore it isn't it?
How about thinking of yourself as a weathervane? Bear with me...you know the barometers which look like a house with two people in it, there's a lady who comes out when it's going to be sunny and a man who comes out when it's going to rain? They can't both come out at the same time, but even if Ms Sunshine gets a week or two of being out every day, you know Mr Rain will get his chance to dance in puddles again, he's not gone for good.
Imagine having an internal Ms Sunshine and your very own Mr Rain, and assign them the two options making you feel stuck: making the most of current job, exploring new career. Bringing one of them out doesn't mean the other has gone forever, it just means this is your focus right now. Why not let your current job dance in puddles with gay abandon for today? Really put your energy into addressing those challenges, re-connecting with what attracted you to the role in the first place. The new job idea can then come out with her parasol anytime you want. It's not one or the other, forever, it's "which one will I focus on with all my heart today?' As well as welcome relief from feeling torn, focusing on one will give you much more insight to help you work out the best eventual solution for you.
The bigger we build up each decision the more stuck we become, if you're truly stuck try taking control back a day at a time. Why not wake up tomorrow morning and choose to commit, just for that day, to one of your options? See how that day goes, and how it makes you feel.
Life can be amazing, and it is yours to do with what you will.
Feeling stuck comes up a lot in coaching work, and there are many ways to explore to help you move forward, far too many for this blog post. If you'd like to find out more about what you can get from working with a coach, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates i can put you in touch with.
Certified Leadership Coach
If you like this blog you can follow me on twitter @jenthecoach