I sit at the kitchen table peering at the four school headshots, wondering which one captures my son’s essence best. Do I get the basic or bonus package? Will I use those 8x10s? Do I get the digital downloads too? Why is this so hard? I envy people who can just decide. Something. Anything. Everything. Overwhelmed, I settle on “thinking about it” (which is code for “not thinking about it”) and will circle back to it later. They never get ordered.
This is just one example of how I handle making small, everyday decisions. Imagine what happened when I had to decide whether my kids would return back to campus during a pandemic? Let’s just say I didn’t sleep for weeks, scouring news articles (which is a whole different article in itself – the effect of negative media on the sensitive psyche), weighing all the pros/cons. My left eye started to twitch, a ridiculous physical manifestation of my looming, impossible decision…their wellbeing teetering on my final call.
Do you, like me, too often agonize over making decisions? As a sensitive mom, it can be completely overwhelming especially when making them for your kids. But, it’s also a superpower in disguise. Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) want to have all the facts and consider all possibilities before making a final judgment. This tenacity actually helps you make more informed, better decisions than those who don’t put in the “work”.
As a sensitive soul, the reason decision making feels so overwhelming stems from a central aspect of HSPs, depth of processing. You take into consideration all the subtle nuances of a situation, weighing out each potential consequence and its effects. In today’s world where “take massive action” and “just do it” are celebrated mantras, your methodical approach may feel like an Achilles heel. But, it serves a greater purpose. Because of your emotional sensitivity, you’re more deeply affected by making the wrong decision. Taking the time to make the right one puts your mind at ease. And, making a hasty decision actually exacerbates your overwhelm since you haven’t given enough weight to your options, creating uncertainty.
I touched on it above but you have an innate need to make the right choice…the first time around. It’s not because you’re “anxious” or “don’t know what you want”. You access decision making with a depth and breadth that’s only reserved for the most sensitive of souls. In a nutshell…you care more.
“You access decision making with a depth and breadth that’s only reserved for the most sensitive of souls. In a nutshell…you care more.”
Not just because the results of your decisions affect you deeply but you’re also deeply concerned about the consequences to those around you…loved ones as well as the ripples beyond. This is an amazing gift. One you should feel proud to share with only 20% of the world’s population. Here are six tips to help your decision-making process flow smoothly…
Consider how important this decision is in regard to your life? Try using the 10/10/10 rule, asking yourself if your decision will matter in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years. Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective to help give you a nudge in the right direction.
People love to give unsolicited advice so be careful about who you discuss your dilemmas with. And, remember that an at-a-glance opinion doesn’t hold a candle to your thoughtful and introspective decision-making process.
What are the consequences of changing your mind after the fact? Can you say “no” or re-direct without too much hassle or stress? This can help ease your mind…to know you have “flexibility”.
Consider the worst-case scenario if you don’t make the right decision. What does it look like? Is it something you’ll be okay with?
Give yourself as much time as you need to be comfortable with your decision. I personally like to weigh out all my options and imagine the end results before committing. Sometimes it may take an hour and others it may take days or even weeks.
As an HSP or empath mom, your “gut” or intuition is strong. Don’t underestimate the power of your innate knowing even if you can’t articulate exactly how or why. You have a gift. Use it to your advantage during your decision-making process.
Just know that you should never feel ashamed or “less than” for having a lengthy decision-making process. Remember that it’s a special gift you’ve been blessed with, including the time it takes to get there.
Do you have an inspiring or “aha” moment to share about decision-making dilemmas? Please leave it below (or email me)…I’d love to connect!