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trusting your instincts

(34 Posts)
mouses Sun 30-Mar-14 00:10:37

im pants at decision making which ends up as one big head ache! I sit and analyse for hrs/days an still don't come to a conclusion or whats for the best decision?

when people say trust your instincts or go with your gut feeling.... mine doesn't seem to be there. ever?

is there away of bettering this? I could really do with it right now grin

headinhands Sun 30-Mar-14 06:32:39

Can't you write down a list of pros and cons?

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 30-Mar-14 08:25:23

I think instict is always there, but won't suddenly appear under hard scrutinty. Sometimes it's best to let the brain beaver away with a problem while your energies are elsewhere, keep busy and active with other things and let your less concious thought processes deal with things. Then the answer will pop up as if from nowhwere.
Use time too. Unless you need an instant answer then take time to make an important decision. Often the right answer will be glaringly obvious if you throw a few weeks or months at a dilemma.
I think the harder we focus on a problem the more difficult it can be to find an answer.
Instinct is what happens when we put out concious thought on hold, by defocussing or giving time.

mouses Sun 30-Mar-14 10:36:49

headinhands ive thought about pros & cons list though cant decide on those either confused I always think the worst so everything would be in cons box.

atthestrokeoftwelve that's interesting to know, I do have maybe a week or so? so do I just forget thinking about it? stop over analysing?

it amazes me how some people just know whats for the best and can avoid mistakes etc from going by gut instinct. smile

headinhands Sun 30-Mar-14 12:20:06

I think good decisions are 99% common sense. Also it's worth reminding yourself that problems will arise whatever path you take! How about a cons list for choice a and choice b and see which one is biggest?

mouses Sun 30-Mar-14 14:18:45

wish I had more common sense to go with my instinct haha! wink

I will write a cons list a and b as that sounds a good idea for me. thanks

Contemplates Mon 31-Mar-14 04:42:18

You've written a few things that suggest a low self confidence in your decision-making ability. I wonder if fear is holding you back a bit?

Would it help to look at what decisions you HAVE made successfully. Presumably you have reached decisions in the past about where you will live or who you will have a relationship with? I bet you 'knew' what you wanted at some point back then, and that 'knowing' is your instinct. In fact, psychologists call it 'blocking' when previous decisions become experience in life that we organise in our unconscious memories, ready to use as data (instinct) for making future decisions.

There are a few ways you can improve your trust in your own instinct/decision-making. One is to keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts can slot things into place mentally and you see things more clearly.

Or perhaps talking the decision through with as many people as you can. Not necessarily airing your laundry, so to speak, but more of a peep over the fence to see what ideas you may not have considered yet. Sometimes you can hear a viewpoint that you resist or embrace, and that can help you 'know' what you think deep down.

Good luck! It's not nice to agonise over decisions and always nice to reach a peaceful place over them. Remember some decisions are reviewable if you change your mind through! Knowing this can help you feel confident in trusting yourself when testing out your decision-making abilities.

Contemplates Mon 31-Mar-14 04:43:33

Argh - chunking, not blocking!

mouses Mon 31-Mar-14 11:11:35

yes I have no confidence in my decision making, as with past decisions - they have all been wrong sad ive ignored advice and (I guess) my own thoughts/intuition and made mistakes.

agree, its not nice to not know what for the best sometimes. very stressful!

Contemplates Mon 31-Mar-14 11:31:17

Have you ignored advice and your own gut instinct for the same reasons? For example, to please someone else, or because of finances, etc. what I mean is, is there a theme to it that you might recognise?

mouses Mon 31-Mar-14 11:49:13

yes i think your spot on, your also right with fear playing a big part. I do tend to make decisions based on putting others feelings first. if that makes sense?

Contemplates Mon 31-Mar-14 17:07:41

It does make sense, and it also suggests there is something you can very clearly do about it. Something within your power to help remove some of the obstacles that stand in the way of your decision-making.

Do you think a good place to start could be to look more closely at your fears, and at your reasons for trying to please people to your own detriment?

mouses Mon 31-Mar-14 20:15:14

contemplates I fear every thing. the unknown, the what if's, what nots... I put people first because I don't like to see anyone upset and I worry too much.

Contemplates Mon 31-Mar-14 20:27:42

Well we all worry at some time or another in life, but it's important to try to fight that rather than let it cripple you - if you want that change, you can so something about it. As Mark Twain famously said, "I've had a lot of worries in my life; most of which never happened".

And as for pleasing other people because it don't like to hurt them? Well apart from the fact that you can't please all of the people all of the time, their happiness is their own responsibility. Your job is simply to treat other people with the respect and kindness they deserve as a fellow-human, but not to map out their happiness. You're a person too, and what about your own happiness?

If you interview 100 people you will find different things make them all happy. Sometimes opposites. That's why we have the saying "one man's meat is another man's poison". Even on the little things, I might like the window open and someone else might prefer it closed. Or I might like the radio off but someone else might like it on all day. How can you please both of us?!

mouses Mon 31-Mar-14 22:08:11

you speak wise words! thankyou

I suppose all this wrong doing/thinking has left me with no confidence regarding everything! so i guess its not just my instincts i need to work on, i need to change a lot.

wouldn't even know where to start.

126sticks Tue 01-Apr-14 09:22:43

Are you at all religious?
If you keep trying to do right in your life it helps. But I sort of suspect that you do that already.

What you partly need is wisdom. Do you have someone who can pray that you get it?

mouses Tue 01-Apr-14 09:58:46

i don't think im religious? i guess more spiritual?
i have a friend who is currently helping me understand help through prayer so i could ask her to pray for me.

i do lack wisdom, ive suffered with anxiety and depression since childhood which prevents me from socialising and i feel i lack knowledge and other important skills i should have?

126sticks Tue 01-Apr-14 11:01:40

Asking your friend to pray that you have wisdom is a great idea.

Knowledge. I dont think anyone can claim they have as much knowledge as they would like.
I dont know you, but I dont think that lots of knowledge is that necessary.
I sometimes think of my mum who watches lots of quiz shows. But I dont think she is much better at them now than she used to be. And I dont think that knowing lots of stuff is really that beneficial.

Important skills. Depends what you think you lack in my opinion. For instance I cannot sew. Never will be good at it. I dont think that that matters.
I did, on the other hand, buy a couple of books on social interaction. Again, I wont be great at it, but they did help a bit.

126sticks Tue 01-Apr-14 11:03:04

I think that confidence somewhat comes from within.
But again, getting a couple of books, or even just googling online, can help.

Do you have people around you that try and bring you down?

Contemplates Tue 01-Apr-14 11:08:01

there is an awful lot you can do to build your self-confidence. It doesn't always matter how or when it started, because you might not actually know the exact dates, and if you don't, you can still move on in your life, in a new (more confident) way.

I'd start by researching the topic. Why not begin with googling "how to build up confidence". Its tempting to skim-read articles but I would suggest you pick out key points and write them down, then stick them on the fridge or back of the toilet door, anywhere you look at regularly, and remind yourself of it all the time until you can recite it with your eyes closed! Then you've really learned the basics.

It's also tempting to just learn the "right answers" but not actually implement them in practice. So I'd really follow the instructions for a while as if your life depends on it. Then you can ditch it if you find a better idea comes up or you don't need it anymore.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 01-Apr-14 11:15:41

Mouses, I have found that by replacing what if thinking with if...then it can be beneficial.

"What ifs" are big, scary and endless. Few people with this mindset ever think "what if it all ends up better than expected?"wink. So this can paralyze you with fear. The next time you have to make a decision, think of one thing that could go wrong, then think "if this happens, then I will....". That way you are back in contol and more realistic and bec

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 01-Apr-14 11:18:03

Oops, posted too soon.blush

Using "if....then" is more realistic, puts you back in control, provides a safety net and over time is beneficial for your self esteem.

126sticks Tue 01-Apr-14 11:26:33

In my experience, half of what people worry about, doesnt happen.
Though I suspect that your issues around this subject run quite deep.

capsium Tue 01-Apr-14 12:39:48

OP, if you are interested, this book talks about overcoming anxiety and worry etc from a Christian perspective.

I mention it because I have found having Faith, in what Christ did for us, really helps me remain hopeful and stops me being overwhelmed by worry.

headinhands Tue 01-Apr-14 14:29:17

Hi op. Have you ever had any help with your depression/anxiety?

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