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Ugh, Indecision.

It is so easy to make the same choice over and over and over again.
Making a bold decision and stepping into something new is almost impossibly difficult.

Usually we have to be chased by something achingly painful – like a viciously unhappy relationship. Or deep physical discomfort. Or a job we hate that does not pay us enough.
And even then, how many of us cling to the old ways, as if there was some kind of salvation there?

It is way easier to cling to the pain that is known, rather than to jump to the potential discomfort of something new.

But. You know, as well as I do –
There is no better feeling than learning to expand into the woman you were born to become.
And there is no way to expand in a truly profound and meaningful direction that does not require making a decision when faced with the choice point: turn left or right? Keep going, or make a u-turn?

Today, I want to talk about that choice point, the line in the sand when you decide . . . or not. 
Because this is the moment when women often get stuck in the formaldehyde of indecision.

Whether it’s what career path to follow, what guy (or gal) to date, whether or not to get married, get divorced, move across the country . . . or just what to have for dinner — I notice women have a chronically hard time making decisions.

We flip, we flop.
We doubt, we fret.
We judge, we disapprove.
We hate ourselves for our own indecision.
And then, we start the whole cycle over again.
We lose weeks, months, years, in indecision.

It’s one of the things keeping us small as women – and  indecision is no more than a symptom of our disconnection with our power source, our turn on, and our truth. 

Today I want to shine some light on the primary cul-de-sacs women find themselves circling – the patterns that keep us from making powerful, aligned, and life-changing decisions.

If you are stuck in indecision, in any area of your life, see if you can relate (and let me know in the comments)!

1 – We procrastinate and avoid the choice.
Putting it off, putting YOU off. “Maybe the timing will be better next year.” “Once I get to the bottom of my to-do list, I’ll take the time to explore this.” How many of us knew our relationship wasn’t working for years before we ended it? How many of us knew we were done at a job long before we got fired or quit? What might have been possible if we had leapt sooner? Could life have been sweeter? More true to the women we truly are?

2 – We try to “figure it out” and forget to FEEL.
Feelings are true. Feelings never lie. Feelings exist to promote and create growth. And yet all of us, as women, one time or another, have been told our feelings are wrong or bad or way too much. How can we begin to trust an aspect of ourselves that we have been warned against our whole lives? Of course our ego has to jump in and start to criticize, diminish and devalue the way we feel. We have been trained to deny our deepest truth since we first recognized we had one.

3 – We don’t give ourselves permission to choose what we really want.
Choosing what we really want is scary – it forces us to expand and grow, create and recreate. At a deep, basic level we have been trained to judge, refuse, and resist our truth. Sometimes, a huge desire will terrify us. If we have been single for a long time, and suddenly we wake up wanting to get married or have a baby – that can seem absolutely overwhelming. If we suddenly want to give up our high-powered career and write a novel – we could doubt our own sanity. We generally do not trust the veracity of what it is we desire.
We have been saturated in rampant lack of permission to want what we want. Rather than stay in the flowing waters of desire, we sink into the muck of ‘how’? The biggest block between a woman and her desire is when she gets all of her thinking mired in ‘how’.

4 – We look for answers outside ourselves.
We feel like we have to get permission from Daddy. Or Mommy. Or the stand-ins for those folks, like our partners or our boss. We run to “Honey, should I do this thing?” versus “Honey, there is this amazing thing I am longing to do – can you help me figure out how?” We have absolutely no training in how to source ourselves and our nearest and dearest from the clarity of our desire. It is time for us to enroll others in support of what it is we want, and to teach everyone in our world to conspire with us.

5 – We isolate.
Even though we seek opinions from other people, we rarely receive the deep support and witness required to make a solid decision that is serving our highest truth. If I ask a woman who continually compromises herself if I should continue to compromise myself, what portal do you think she will hold open? Women need other women who are committed to living their desires, to inspire us to live ours. We need women who are continually opening new doors for themselves, to inspire the opening of doors in ourselves. We need community like we need oxygen.

6 – We’re really comfortable with settling and suffering.
It’s easy to live a miserable life. It takes no courage to live a mediocre life. Do nothing, change nothing, and you will have a mediocre life. But a glorious life – a challenging and creative life – requires risk. There is profound discomfort in shifting. But there is nothing so powerful and courageous as a woman standing for herself, and pirouetting across a new dance floor. And you know what? You don’t have to have one dance lesson to pirouette. You just have to have the urgency to grow a tiny bit more than the inertia to stay the same.

In the comments below, I’d love to know — where are you in the indecision loop in your life right now? Which of the patterns above resonates the most? Or, if you’ve moved through resistance and made a powerful choice — what helped you get there?

xo,


Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts

P.S. This week’s post was inspired by all the women who have recently walked through indecision and found their truth around joining us for Mastery this year. Thank you for reaching out and following your courage.

P.P.S. If you’re still on the fence about Mastery, let’s get you clear, one way or another. The course is almost full, and it starts in less than two weeks. Call 212.787.2411 X 1 today, to connect one-on-one with a course graduate!

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29 Comments / Leave a Comment

29 comments… add one

  • Yazmine March 10, 2017, 2:12 pm

    I am living in this feeling right now. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, what to major in college and it’s a constant battle with my realistic side trying to tame my dreamy, innocent one I want to give in to my heart, feelings and dreams but I don’t know how I will make her dreams come true. I’m afraid of taking a risk then being stuck because I followed my heart, unable to provide for myself, not educated enough while everybody else took the safe path yet is successful and secure. I’m feeling very lost.

  • Chelsea March 9, 2017, 10:41 pm

    Number 3.. for sure!!

  • LaToya March 8, 2017, 10:06 pm

    I am starting a new career and have two amazing job offers in two different locations. I have been agonizing over the decision – I have “pros and cons” charts and all. I feel pulled toward one, but have been getting stuck in the “how”. It just hit me that my pussy is choosing one particular position and I need to take that one.

  • Wendy Snobl March 8, 2017, 4:16 pm

    I am in a fabulous place where I am learning to embrace the essence of who I am, and the gifts I have to offer the world. I recently experienced in the saying ” no” to a mastery program, that I get to say YES to me….no matter what the circumstance, saying YES to me and honoring my feelings is fabulous. Even though I could not participate in a program that I felt deeply connected to at this time, I still get to say YES to me by allowing my light to shine and mt spirit to soar. 💞

  • Barb March 8, 2017, 1:03 pm

    I think that all of these resonate with me. I am in a place where I need to make a change in my career. This has become increasingly more and more urgent. Yet, I am terrified and not sure exactly why except that I probably doubt being able to recreate the good parts of my job, like the travel and networking, when I have to fund it for myself. Yes, I want permission. My current job is good but it no longer feeds me. Good or good enough doesn’t need to cost me my soul. I think the thing that scares me most is that I have left temporarily twice before and those things didn’t work so I came back. What if that happens again? I can’t jump back to exactly the place I am now. And yet, I look to those I admire who have “jumped”, and envision them holding my hand and telling me that its my life to live and my chance to take. Because if nothing changes, I’ll just wonder the same things in the future.

  • Jane March 8, 2017, 11:23 am

    all of the above. sigh. i think the hardest is to trust my feelings. the good ones i trust. but the bad ones….i never know if they are just showing me a limiting belief or if they are saying, cut and run!!!! because sometimes i am afraid and anxious and doubting and then i need to just really ground myself and remind myself who i really am instead of giving up on the dream i am working on.

  • Jen March 8, 2017, 11:14 am

    There are things I want to do…things burning inside me to be unloaded and unleashed. There is a decision about a job I’ve been wresting with. There is a way I want to be as a mom, wife and friend but I constantly let outside things influence me and how I am. I want to go for it. I want to live juicily, happily and lift myself and others higher. I want to soar and celebrate other’s soaring! Then I look at my to do list and get bogged down. I let other’s attitudes and moods hold me down. I doubt. I crave. I start to feel cranky and exhausted and irritable. I need to let it all go.

  • Viki March 8, 2017, 9:57 am

    Honestly, this is very much about me for the half of the year.
    I am currently studying what I don’t like in a city I don’t like and I am not sure whether I should quit because I am not sure what i want instead. I am afraid to make a mistake and I am whether procrastinating on it feels like – even if I am doing something – settling for less, being in some kind of comfort. It’s like I forget that after I make a decision life moves on, and I will have to make many more decisions. I want to act upon my own truth, but I’m not sure what it is anymore..

  • Olga Lav March 8, 2017, 7:55 am

    GPS sent me this post as a sign. Must be! Every morning since dew months (!) I wake up with this sick feeling in my stomach ” I have to make a choice…NOW. And I can’t i CANNOT, I do NOT know what to choose”.
    WTF, this sick feeling kills me, takes away all my power, breaks me down. Has been a life sucking problem – I have to decide, and I cannot decide. Why?
    I am terrified with consequences. Responsibility. I have no idea what happens – that very UNKNOWN – scary terrifying UNKNOWN – makes me float in indecisive formaldehyde and suffer, suffer, and loose my sleep, my voice, my turn on, my desire to live.
    Is it better to take ANY decision, if it s wrong one? Maybe?

  • Michelle March 8, 2017, 7:22 am

    While I definitely could relate to the ‘figuring it all out’ and the ‘looking for answers outside myself’ bits, my indecision often takes the form of not knowing what i want and having trouble feeling into it.

    Love ‘formaldehyde of indecision’. That’s so what it feels like…

  • Sandy March 7, 2017, 8:41 pm

    I LOVE “the formaldehyde of indecision”!!!! I have recycled that phrase so often. Spot on and so impactful.

  • Teresa March 7, 2017, 7:47 pm

    My indecisiveness starts when I wake up. I know I have to go to work but just want to stay home in bed. Then it takes me almost 15 minutes to decide where to go for lunch. I have way more debt than I should. So really shouldn’t be going out for lunch. I live in IL and work for a state university and it has been almost two years since my family has been reimbursed for our dental visits. Even though the state takes the premium every pay day. I could go on.
    I did attend the experience weekend in January and loved it. My goal is to attend Mastery in 2018. Hopefully my finances and the state of IL will be in better shape.
    Thanks for reading.

  • Gigi March 7, 2017, 6:55 pm

    I have been stuck in indecision in a relationship with a man who loves and adores me, however I am unable to completely surrender myself to him because he has not had a stable job in the time I’ve known him (3 years). He was once financially successful in a great job but some sort of scandal happened and he left the company. He hasn’t been able to share the story with me. I feel addicted to his love and attention though can’t see a future with him because I know I need to be with someone who is financially stable. I have never been showered with love the way he does.

  • Mónica March 7, 2017, 5:49 pm

    I can see how some of us are stuck in indecision because of our family resposibilities. We have an image about what we should be doing for their best but not for us. We think we are good daugthers, wifes, granddaughters, mothers, sisters and citizens if we keep at home taking care of the family but we are evel if we want to do other things. In my case, I want to write, sing and dance and I want to make money and be independent and yes, I also want take care of my family and don´t want to feel mean any more for wishing the things I really wish.

  • Harmony March 7, 2017, 3:11 pm

    I keep telling myself this story that the time to figure out what I want to do with my life is passing me by. I’ve stayed home raising 3 children, the youngest is not yet 3, and my oldest is turning 13 this month. I’ve worked from home very part time doing different writing jobs, but I just don’t know what’s i want to do still. The elements of your article that spoke to me were those about letting fear and self doubt guide me. And indecision is definitely my “friend.” I would like to discover what I most desire out of life but I find it difficult to even have time to think about it. Thank you for giving me that gift of reflecting, even for a moment.

  • Ellen March 7, 2017, 2:57 pm

    Ooh decisions! I live I Australia, and this year I have three things I want to do in Mexico and the U.S. between May and October. Rather than fly back and forth three times I’m considering staying over that side of the world. If I come back here in between, I know what will happen. If I stay there, anything could happen.

    I’m studying sex, love and relationship coaching and will be setting up my own business in that time. I’ll still be working remotely a day a week while I’m there. I’ll need a cost effective home base. I’ve never been to Mexico or the U.S. so I don’t know where I could stay for a month or a few weeks at a time. I feel like I’m not good at meeting people and connecting quickly. I share a house with the guy I’m interested in so there’s a pull to stay even though me going on an adventure would definitely strengthen my our friendship. I worry I won’t be able to maintain my current level of health and fitness.

    It’s SO HARD to choose adventure! None of my objections are insurmountable. I’d be choosing life, choosing change, choosing experience, choosing growth, choosing adventure…and yet it’s been a week and I’m sitting on the fence still, while in the background knowing that I’ll probably choose adventure eventually.

    Stepping into the unknown.

    • Lori March 7, 2017, 6:52 pm

      The “Ugh Decisions” email came at a great time for me too. After a few years I made a very bold decision to move to another state, crossing an ocean, selling my beloved home, all to live closer to my daughter, grandbaby and her husband. I was also granted the okay to work remotely from my new location, but on a temporary basis. I have several health challenges I’m working through for the last few years and they are far from resolved.
      Long story short, I’m 4 months in at the new area and I just don’t know that it’s for me. I love visiting this island, but living here? Hmmm, it’s just okay. I’m also receiving some feedback that this may not be such a good plan from a work perspective and I want to keep my job until I retire in a few more years.
      I’m having a next to impossible time figuring out if I should just move back and re-settle into my home state or not. “Feeling” into it isn’t helping me…
      The part that resonated most for me was ALL OF IT! 🙂
      Thank you for listening.

  • Trae March 7, 2017, 2:01 pm

    Wow….i am. Habitually indecisive…and what screamed at me was settling and suffering…thats exactly what i have been doing.Just wow

  • Darline March 7, 2017, 12:34 pm

    I know indecision intimately, but I’ve just moved from indecision into action! Having been in a major financial swamp for about 2 years, I had asked my family to help out. The “help” has been offered with a string of conditions, conditions that will minimize all the work that I have done professionally, all that I am building for my business and my family, who I am as a woman and mother and my standing in the family that created me. The price is just too great!!! Would I get the financial boost that I need? Absolutely. Will I sacrifice my soul, my person, my dreams in the process? YES!!! And that is not okay!

    So I am going to move forward on my own, dig myself out of the financial pit in which I find myself and keep on this path to becoming the woman I know that I am destined to be! I was not put here to be the meek and obedient little girl that my family sees (and has cultivated over my 51 years of life!!), but to be outspoken, outrageous and a force for what I believe in! It may be a bumpy ride, but I’m strapped in and ready to go!

  • Valerie March 7, 2017, 11:34 am

    Nine months ago, I chose to move our family across the country to be closer to my husband’s family. Still terrified I made the wrong choice, but doing my best to remind myself of the positive reasons why I wanted to do it in the first place. Just last night, I kept myself up trying to decide which choice I wanted to go with:

    A) stay in the new city – where I’m 90% sure my husband and I will be the happiest even if our kids fight us about it daily and things are hard financially right now, or

    B) move back to the safety net of my hometown where I know our 3 kids would be the happiest, my parents would help in a financial emergency, but my marriage would probably suffer.

    Neither choice seems optimal at the moment. Today’s post, #6 specifically, REALLY hit home for me because it feels like the only safe choice is to settle and go back to where things where easy. “We’re really comfortable with settling and suffering. It’s easy to live a miserable life. It takes no courage to live a mediocre life. Do nothing, change nothing, and you will have a mediocre life. But a glorious life – a challenging and creative life – requires risk.”

    I’m scared to death of making the wrong choice, but in my over-worrying about it, I’m not making ANY choices. If I want a great life, a glorious life, I need to embrace the risk and not be so terrified of it.

    Section 5 was also a great reminder that I need to connect with some of the new mom/women friends I’ve made in town. I try to be in control of everything, but it’s time to get perspective from other woman and stop isolating myself.

    Thank you so much for reminding me that I do have courage inside of me. Fear needs to take a hike, so the courage has a chance to rise to the top. I know I’ll find the power to get thru this current situation and be thankful I said “yes” to trying a new adventure in a new city. Thanks to this community for reminding me of what’s truly important. #ICanDoThis

    • mama gena March 7, 2017, 11:48 am

      valerie- i love your new hashtag. #youcando this!! (have you considered mastery? it it the greatest container on earth, to support a woman living her most deeply held dreams and desires)

  • Susy March 7, 2017, 11:21 am

    I resonate with all of it! I’m “of a certain age” and feel my heart poounding out of my chest, much like the “Telltale Heart”…insisting that I flesh out my dream already!! My kids are older, my life has opened up and the time is NOW for me to actually DO what I’ve been wanting to do since I moved out to Los Angeles as a young actress 26 years ago. I have a universe inside that I need to express! Thank you for all your hard work and encouraging words!

    • mama gena March 7, 2017, 12:12 pm

      oooh, susie. i can feel that gorgeous pounding heart all the way in nyc. time to launch those dreams. there is no more important action to that you could take with your life.
      xo
      mg

  • Alison March 7, 2017, 10:56 am

    YES this absolutely resonates with me in every way. Have been ignoring my gut for years about my desires to end my marriage. We are taught that sacrificing ourselves for our families is noble, but it’s not. We should be allowed to feel happiness and joy in our lives. I want to teach this to my daughter to end the cycle in my family.

    • mama gena March 7, 2017, 12:16 pm

      there is only one way to end the cycle for our daughters, alison. we have to end it the cycle in our lives first. living by example is the only way to teach our children. (this might just be your time for mastery. i have watched thousands and thousands of women end the ancestral chain of pain that has been passed mother to daughter for the last 5,000 years)

  • Rachel March 7, 2017, 10:53 am

    OMG you have no idea how much this resonates with me right now!! I am teary-eyed just reading it because I know I don’t give myself the credit I deserve. I am currently looking for a job as my contract position is ending in 3 weeks. But I desperately want to do something MEANINGFUL with my life. I was just sent a college course posting for a career that sounds right up my alley. I have so much fear about it that I am afraid to keep looking for a job and fear around going back to school – literally I’m stuck in my fear.

  • Antonia Borismky March 7, 2017, 10:49 am

    I am struggling with indecision. I love different men for different reasons, and they want to have an exclusive relationship with me but I cannot choose. When I do, I miss an attribute that another men has. I think is FOMO, I have an extreme anxiety to lose something, combining with a fear to commit. I panic if I have to choose, and the truth is that I dont even know what I want. I oscillate between having babies and get married and have sex with a different guy every week. And both options seems appealing and correspond to a part of myself. It is a very strong duality. I am driving people crazy and I am getting crazy myself

  • Irene March 7, 2017, 10:47 am

    I definitely resonated with the ‘thinking things out’ one.
    I am a head-centred woman and I desire to be a heart-centred one.

    • Susan March 7, 2017, 11:22 am

      Me too! Sometimes I try to use logic, but it’s when I relax into feeling myself when it becomes easy.

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