Stuck in the middle with you: getting out of a decision-making rut

Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

Photo by Jesús León

Feeling stuck sucks. When you’re at a major crossroads in your life, are in a rut, or are just trying to make an everyday decision, it can be difficult trying to figure out what to do. Throw in all the opinions and intel available in this age of information, and it can be paralyzing. Here are some hacks to get you unstuck and on your way.
Fear vs. love
Something I always ask when weighing two options is: “If I chose this option, would my decision be based on fear or on love?” We make a lot of decisions in life based on one of these two things.
We feel fear so that we can protect ourselves from danger. It can help us take a step back, evaluate the situation, and proceed accordingly. But if we let fear take over completely, it can also cause us to second-guess ourselves and hold us back.
Here’s an example: imagine that you’re deciding between becoming exclusive with someone you’ve been seeing or flying solo. You’re leaning toward staying single.
Is it A: because even though the person you’ve been hanging with is great on paper, something just doesn’t quite feel right or you feel like you’re just not in a place to make that kind of commitment right now? Or B: you got burned in your last relationship and even though you totally like the person, you’re too scared of getting hurt again?
If it’s B, you may be coming from a place of fear. If it’s A, you’re likely coming from a place of love, which is exactly where in most cases (unless you are in immediate danger) the soundest decisions come from.
I should also add a word of caution: if you are staying in a dangerous or unhealthy situation because you love someone or some aspect of that situation, please don’t confuse this with making a love-based decision. A decision that is truly based on pure love is one that speaks to love for the highest good – which includes yourself and your well-being.
If you ask yourself honestly, you will know what is fear and what is love.
Clear your mind
If you’re still having a hard time figuring out what’s what, sit with it in meditation. Keep a pen and paper nearby.
It might seem counter-productive, but focus on NOT thinking about the decision, or anything else at all. Let the thoughts temporarily flow to the wayside, breathe deeply, and let your mind be silent.
Then, start writing.
Don’t censor yourself – just write whatever pops into your head. This can help weed out any ego- or fear-based influences and get to your core desires.
Embrace the quiet
Still not sure? That’s OK. Use the stuckness to your advantage – sometimes there is value in stagnancy. When we are in highly productive periods, we don’t always have a chance to stop and evaluate.
When you’re in a rut, you have an opportunity to map out your route so that your next peak can take you even higher.
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit

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