We all want to feel sure of ourselves, and confident that things are working out the way we planned. That’s why it can be so agonizing to face a decision. Maybe we’re not even sure which decision needs to be made, we just know we’re unsettled and that something needs to shift.
Often the best thing to do in this case is to stop thinking about it at all. At least in the same way we have been thinking. Otherwise we just keep going around in circles and getting more stuck.
What’s really needed is a fresh perspective. Sometimes this comes from outside eyes – a friend, family member, or therapist who can share their unique viewpoint from outside the situation.
These external resources can help us find clarity, and reflect back the key phrases we’re using to discuss what’s going on in our lives. They can spot patterns we may not see, and those discoveries can lead to important insights and potential actions. I’m grateful for the experience to be on both sides of these conversations as a therapist and as a client.
The conversation doesn’t even need to be about us. Listening to and supporting others in a therapy group or 12-step program can deepen our understanding of our own lives. We can find affirmation, relief, and inspiration from these courageous people who share their stories and process.
Even on our own, and that may be even more powerful, we can find a fresh perspective, opening our eyes to possibilities we haven’t seen before.
For example, have you ever noticed that you get new ideas or clarity about your life when you’re away on vacation? Even the smallest change in our day-to-day routine can have an impact, such as a few moments of quiet contemplation, or a new route to somewhere familiar.
We can find a new perspective in nature, or as we get quiet on a yoga mat and go within, or by taking a drive somewhere beautiful, sitting on a beach, or sitting inside and watching the rain.
We may not always like change, preferring for things to stay the same, but we can get to the phase where we welcome change and are looking for ideas for what’s next. I’ve always loved the concept that when one door closes another one opens.
Finding a fresh perspective also means changing our perspective of change. There doesn’t need to be immediate change or action. Things may stretch and then go back, then stretch again a little farther. Have patience with the process, have patience with change, and most importantly have patience and compassion for yourself.