Recently I was muddling through the process of trying to make a big decision. I had many options to choose from, which in theory seems like a good to problem to have, but was not.
Normally, when faced with a big decision I “go with my gut.” The problem was my gut liked all the options. First it would consider Option A. My gut would feel warm and happy and strongly urge me to choose Option A. It’s great!
Then my gut would get distracted by shiny Option B. Oooh, that’s nice too. Also warm and happy and shiny. Hmmm, go with Option B. It’s greater!
Yet my gut would suddenly catch sight of Option C, which felt so comfortable and soft, like a well-worn sweater. Hmm, maybe go with Option C, it’s soooo comfortable.
And so it went. My gut bouncing from option to option. Loving each one. Feeling strongly like each one could be “the one” for different reasons. Muddling continued. No decision was being made.
Finally, I did something I don’t do very often. I made a spreadsheet.
Each option was given a line. The columns were labeled with things like, “what my gut thinks is great”, “what my gut is worried about”, and so on. There were also columns with objective information I could gather for each option.
Instead of depending solely on my gut, I spent some time filling in the spreadsheet. My gut had a say, but it was not the only thing consulted when making this decision. I sat back and looked at the spreadsheet when it was done. I let it sit for a few days. I looked at it again.
A decision was made.
If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to consider other things, besides my gut, when making big decisions. It’s good to check in with myself. But I am learning it may also be good to check outside myself too. Gather some objective information. Let it all simmer for a couple days. Then evaluate. And decide.
It turns out my gut is pretty happy with the choice I made. And the skeptical side of me, that didn’t think making a spreadsheet would help, is pretty happy too.