I was watching a recent episode of the television show, “Blue Bloods.” It’s a show featuring an Irish Catholic family with several generations of members who are in law enforcement. It stars Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynihan. In this particular episode, Moynihan’s college-aged daughter, Nicky, is discussing her potential college choices.
Tom Selleck, who plays her grandfather, asks her, “How will you know you made the right choice?”
She replies, “That’s easy! It’s the one that makes me the most excited and then I want to throw up!”
I laughed with recognition. I think it’s often the way we feel when we make an intuitive decision. To put it a little more delicately than Nicky, have you ever gotten really excited about a new direction, idea or potential path? Then, when you actually take action and DO this thing, you got scared and freaked out. You may have decided it wasn’t really a gut feeling, it was just indigestion!
In my recent survey YOU, my newsletter readers, asked how to differentiate between fear and intuition? I want to assure you that it’s perfectly normal to feel scared, nervous, anxious and yes, even like throwing up, when you make a decision that will impact your life in a big way. It’s also normal to think, “What if I’m wrong?” “What if I’m not smart (rich, experienced, good-looking, young, old, etc.) enough to do this thing I want to do?”
What do you do if you find yourself in this situation and yet want to go forward anyway? Take a small step! See if you can break the task down into smaller, less scary, pieces and then keep going.
Like the young, Nicky, you may feel excited about something. This response is a clue from your intuition. If you feel excited, energized, curious, interested in something, it’s your intuition saying, “move in this direction.”
How do you create some smaller steps to build the bridge onto the new path you want in your life? Let’s take Nicky’s desire for going to college as an example. Here are some things she could do to make it a little less scary.
Research the school
Talk to people who have gone there.
Visit the school
Apply to the school
Check out the Facebook page of the school.
Read articles about famous people who have gone there and what they liked or didn’t like about the place.
Hopefully, you get the idea. These small actions help make the decision a little less scary and incorporate some concrete, rational and practical decision-making into the mix as well.
There is one more idea that helps. Ask yourself, “If I don’t do this thing, will I look back at my life and regret it?”
If the answer is yes, you do need to overcome your fear and do the thing that scares you! That’s what makes life a big adventure.
I’m curious. How have you managed your fear and anxiety when making a big life decision? I’d love to hear your tips.