Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Suffering from “Uhhhh…” Syndrome? Let Me Help.

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

If you have “Uhhhh…” Syndrome, you’re primary symptom will present as a reluctance to choose.

You have options, but, “Uhhhh… Which one?”

To remedy this condition without resorting depressive apathy, unhinged vexation, or Big Pharma witchery, you can look at 4 areas that may hold insights as to what underlies your struggle and will help you to make quicker decisions with more confidence.

Area 1: Analysis Paralysis

If you didn’t suffer from “Uhhhh…” Syndrome, although you’d probably weigh your choices rather than making a selection willy-nilly, you’d still come to a decision in a timely manner and be done with it.

But suffering with the “Uhhhh…’s,” you can’t help but go into analysis paralysis. Even if you have some intuitive capacity available, your excessive thinking and fear could very well skew your perception and lead you into analysis paralysis anyway.

What I suggest doing in this case is stepping back, pulling out a pencil and paper, and writing down whatever you see as valuable to making a worthwhile decision.

You might make side-by-side lists: one for “pros” and one for “cons” of each option. You might make bullet points for any “happenings” (unusual events, synchronistic conversations, etc.) that may be Life attempting to direct you appropriately. You might write down how you feel about each option.

Rather than leaving your mental circus to resolve itself, organize and clarify it externally; see what’s going on as a whole.

Area 2: Choice Alternatives

In this area, you’re going to self-inquire as to what ideas you have about the choice-making itself.

Suppose that you’re bumbling around on a decision between “A” or “B”.

You may be thinking, It’s okay to choose “A” or “B”. But what if it isn’t? What if you’re hesitating because it’s not okay, and deep down you know it’s not okay, but your stubborn desire for it to be okay is causing you confusion?

Or, I’m supposed to choose “A” or “B”. “Supposed to”? Like believing that you “should” do something, “supposed to” tends to imply pushiness. Who is expecting or demanding what of you for what kind of gain? Are you expecting or demanding something of yourself?

Does it even matter if you choose “A” or “B”? Is there an option “C”? Can you choose more than one?

Depending upon your situation, you may have been assuming that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but what if you can? Is it unreasonable to buy ham this week and turkey next week, or to take Molly out to dinner on Friday and Heather out on Monday… or both together?

If you can’t have both options, consider that one of the reasons you may be struggling is that you see the options as more or less equal. But since you’ll never know what the alternative would be like, does is really matter which you choose?

Area 3: Meaning

In this third area, ask yourself what meaning you find in making a given choice.

Is the meaning I’m giving this choice reasonable?

Maybe your reasoning is unreasonable. Write down what you’re actually thinking and analyze it. Get a second opinion.

Is the meaning I’m giving this choice convenient?

You may really want to choose “A”, but you know that in choosing “A” you would have to face certain fears. So maybe you’ll just choose the ease of “B” instead… or will you?

Is the meaning I’m giving this choice too “material”?

Are your desires distorted? Are you fighting with yourself between slow progress and lasting satisfaction versus quick results and short-term gain? Is the choice you wish to make actually irrelevant to you at this time in your life?

Area 4: Fears and Beliefs

Lingering when you have to make a choice is largely due to any number of fears and beliefs, most of them hidden.

To help bring these issues to the surface, you can get a pencil and paper and sit in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. At the top of the page, write a question such as:

What fears and beliefs do I carry that are inhibiting my decision-making ability?

As you see fit, you can repeat the question to yourself, but otherwise sit quiet-minded with your eyes closed and “listen” for what arises. Whatever comes up, write it down if it’s an answer to your question.

Be sure to do this non-judgmentally. As I stated in “Reopening the High School Year Book,” some answers may be as true as they are seemingly ridiculous.

You might come up with answers such as the following:
  • I’m afraid of choosing poorly and screwing things up irreversibly.
  • I fear making a mistake and being shamed and criticized.
  • I fear making myself vulnerable.
  • I yearn for approval, and lousy decisions could bring on a lot of rejection.
  • I need more guidance and clarity to make the right decision.
  • It’s dangerous to make decisions without parental awareness and validation.
  • I know what I want to choose, but if I don’t go the way authority has told me to go, surely I’m bound for failure.

Do the Work. Make the Choice.

The inspiration for this blog post came from a certain personal experience of having to choose between “A” or “B”.

I floundered around for plenty longer than I like to admit while doing work such as that discussed here. I also overthought way too much and often became frustrated… Until I had an unexpected realization in the midst of a fit of irritation that brought it all to a grinding halt:

Fuck it all. It doesn’t fucking matter. The point is that I just need to make a fucking decision and let life play out how it plays out.

I recount this short story in a blog post titled, “Using a Microscope When a Magnifying Glass Is Sufficient.”

Whatever troubles may arise, I fully endorse doing self-help work to overcome the obstacles. There are definitely things I needed to learn about myself and heal within that presented themselves through the aforementioned situation.

But I must also acknowledge to you that when it comes to making choices, sometimes you “just need to make a fucking decision.”

If you’re lingering, lingering, lingering, even if you are doing the inner work, choosing may never be comfortable or fun, and you may never have “enough” information to make the “best” decision. But you just have to do it.

In fact, the act of choosing while in a space of uncertainty can sometimes be the very thing required to break old programming.

So do it, already.

Quit “Uhhhh…ing” and choose.

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