By Janet Ong Zimmerman for YourTango.com.
Oh, the dilemma of indecision. Many successful career women are confident making decisions at work and indecisive when it comes to making decisions about their love lives.
If you’ve succeeded in your professional life by making logic-based decisions, it’s because you’ve been educated, trained and understand how to do your job proficiently. The opposite is true when it comes to love. Instead of a handbook, manual or training program on how to be successful in love, we learn through the School of Hard Knocks. And, if you’re like me, you’ve gotten mixed results through this trial and error method.
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For decades, I made logic-based decisions without success in love, which led me to second guess myself. But logic-based decisions make you second guess yourself which makes it difficult to feel confident. The less confident you are, the more you question yourself and the more indecisive you are.
Indecisiveness in love shows up in any number of ways, including the following: being consumed by unhealthy thoughts and asking your friends and family what you should do; spending too much time with men and in relationships that aren’t right for you; feeling dissatisfied and unhappy; being afraid to make a mistake; second-guessing yourself; and questioning whether you’ll ever have true love.
During times in my love life, I’ve experienced all of the above and more. In fact, my story illustrates the potential repercussions of indecision. You see, when I was 30 to 35 years old, indecision kept me in the wrong relationship. Six months after meeting my boyfriend in Kansas, a job promotion led me back to southern California. I didn’t know what to do about our relationship so he decided to move with me. I was happy to be back where my family and good friends were.
Things between me and my boyfriend became worse over the next four years; he was so unhappy to be in southern California and I was stressed out about his unhappiness. My indecision started out as, ‘Should I go out with my friends or stay home with him?’… and grew to ‘I can’t decide whether to leave or stay in this relationship. I feel guilty if I break up with him because he moved to be with me.’ Finally, after waffling for four long years, I broke things off.
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Years of indecision from trying to make the wrong man right for me, knowing what I should do and not doing it and the thought of having to start over, took its toll on me. In hindsight, it wasn’t the situation with my ex that caused me great stress. It was my indecisiveness. This difficult love lesson became the impetus for me to become more decisive. It’s been a gradual process that has brought inner peace and greater confidence.
If you’re wondering whether to continue to date or not date a person, stay or leave a relationship, wait or not wait for a marriage proposal, trust or not trust them, etc., here are four ways to decide with confidence:
1. Get clear on what’s most important to you. Define your core values, qualities you must have in your ideal partner, how you want to be treated by your partner, how you want to feel in your relationship, what you want to be doing in your relationship, etc. Use these as guideposts in making decisions. For instance, if commitment is one of your core values and the person you’re with says they want to date other people, decide that he isn’t the right man for you and leave him so you have the opportunity to meet a man who wants a commitment.
2. Be present with what you know and how you feel. When you’re having a hard time making a decision, notice that your mind is stressed about something that happened in the past or worried about something that might not happen in the future. Make decisions with more confidence by being in the present moment. Take some deep breaths to get centered and become present. Then notice how you feel and what your body is telling you. Listen to and decide from your intuition.
3. Listen to your intuition. If you tend to second guess yourself, you’re caught in the cycle of your thoughts. Listen to and make decisions based on how your body feels. For instance, if you feel expanded and open, decide to move forward. If you feel contracted and shut down, decide to not move forward or to wait for more information. (If you’re a visual person, visualize the scenarios you’re thinking about and notice how each one makes you feel.)
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4. Choose what feels best. If you find yourself having to decide between two choices that seem equally good, ask yourself, “If I could only have “A,” but never have “B,” how would I feel? Then visualize “A” and notice how you feel. Then visualize and feel, if I could only have “B,” but never have “A.” Choose the one that feels the best. Making a decision about two bad choices? Consider choosing neither one of them and keeping an open mind for a different option to show up.
You can do it.
Being afraid to make mistakes perpetuates the cycle of indecision. Break the cycle by approaching your decision-making with a practice that makes better mentality. The more you practice, the more decisive you’ll become and the better your love life will be.
Have the intelligence to recognize when you’re distracted by your cycle of habitual thoughts, the wisdom to break free from these thoughts and listen to your intuition, the heart to be open to what is and what will be and knowing that the outcome from your decisions are for your greater good. What will you do to make decisions about your love life with confidence?
If you’re getting lackluster results in love, take the Love Indicator Assessment. You’ll receive a free 6-page report that shows where you’re at with love, the reasons you haven’t found it yet and what you can do to immediately improve your love life.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Hate Making Decisions? 4 Tricks To Try.