CwL Ep48: How to Take Action on Big Life Decisions (when you’re scared!)

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So many women keep themselves paralysed with indecision when it comes to big life decisions. And it makes total sense why! Our human brains hate change – the bigger the more resistance you will feel. 

And listen, it’s tough when you don’t want to blow up your life but you DO want to pursue your own happiness. And what if one equals the other?

A conundrum, right?

Well, what if it wasn’t… What if there was a really simple way to get into momentum on the big things? What if the way you’ve been looking at the issue is part of the problem?

How simple might it be to create the changes you desire – without the life blow-up effect!? 

That’s what Lisa explores in today’s episode where she breaks down exactly how you can take steps towards your own happiness even if you’re frightened and unsure of the consequences. 

Links:

Join the Feel Good Now Challenge – a brand new free experience with Lisa FULL of practical ideas and brain-based know-how on how to shift to feeling good without waiting for anything to change first. 

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Prefer to read? Click here for the full transcript

Hey, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I’m going to talk about something that comes up a lot in my programmes and in my actual real life as a woman who talks to other women. And in particular, I’m going to be sharing about a conversation I had very recently with someone, who I will keep anonymous, who is questioning her marriage. And it brought up this really, really big topic. And as you know, I help women uncover all of the reasons why they’re feeling stuck and repeating patterns in their lives and not living full out. And a lot of the resistance that comes for women is that, well, if I start to actually do what I want or what makes me feel happy, I mean, number one, so many times they don’t even know what makes them happy anyway. Number two, they don’t trust that this is coming from a really honest place, they think they might be losing their marbles or pre-menstrual, and they’ll just calm down and everything will be fine again.

But there’s this other element of, well, what if I really start to feel good and then that kind of blows up my life? It’s a really scary thing to think about. And I saw it in action chatting to this woman who is really kind of tortured by this decision that she feels she has to make. And I want you to stick with me as I share this story, because I’m going to let you know at the end what I suggested to her and what I suggest to so many people and what I believe to my absolute core when it comes to creating change in your life. Because oftentimes, the big, huge things, big and huge, and they literally cannot be dealt with in one big sweeping blow. Our brains will resist doing that all the way. And there’s very, very good reasons for that. But let me share with you this story first so we can contextualise, and then I’ll give you another example so we can really put into practise what I’m sharing with you in this episode.

So, I mean, so many of us get to that point where we have that gut feeling that something just isn’t right. And for this woman, we were just chatting away and I mentioned about how when I had an ex-boyfriend, lovely, lovely guy. We were together for six years. And I remember saying to him, “I’m not too sure if I’m going to be one of those women who has kids. I might not be into that.” And I was just sharing this with her. And because I was talking about how I feel with the man I married, part of our sort of sort of soul contract in this lifetime was to birth our children, was to bring them into the world. And travel as we did together as the people who loved each other to create these children.

And I then asked her like, “Oh, are you interested in having kids?” And she’s like, “Well, it’s funny you asked that. This is something that I haven’t really shared with anyone except my mom and sister and best friend.” She started to share with me that she’s… She said, “That story that you shared, it makes me really think about my marriage. And I have a feeling that kids might be in my life, but I don’t think it’s with him. It makes me feel trapped to think about having kids. He’s a wonderful man. Everyone would think we’ve got a beautiful marriage.” They’ve been together 10 years and so all looks good, all looks rosy, and yet there’s something happening for her. And it’s got to do with this person, this sort of almost sliding doors moment with this other man who she was with and then wasn’t and things weren’t pursued. And then she met the guy who then became her husband and they’ve never lost contact, but he’s been travelling all around the world in that decade.

And I was just like, “You’re going to write a book about this one day.” It was unrequited love and she questions it. And she just said, “When I think about him, I can see kids, I could see a life. But I’m not seeing that right now. But I’m so grateful. I love my husband. And who knows. This guy lives overseas, who knows if anything would ever happen anyway.” But she’s got this intuitive feeling. And you know what she’s doing, is she’s just having conversations with people about it. And so I started to talk to her about it, I’m like, “How long are you really prepared to live like this? Is 30 years with your husband enough and doing those things and creating that life? Is there a timeline here? Are you able to…” Because she’s like, “I try, I just, I kind of get obsessive about it, and then I just try to put it out of my brain and just get on with things, because I’m very, very lucky.” We all do that, don’t we? Like, I mean, I should just be grateful. Yeah.

But she’s literally stopping herself from exploring what her intuition is telling her would be a beautiful partnership and a really deeply fulfilling one. And she’s paralysed, and I totally get that. Who else can resonate? Like, “Well if I do that, if I quit that job, then, I mean, it’s free fall. Who knows if I’ll get anything else? But I don’t know if I can keep going. And it seems crazy because I earn good money, or it’s hours that work around the kids”, or whatever. It doesn’t make sense, but there’s something going on. It’s not fulfilling anymore. And you have a sense that something needs to change here, but we paralyse ourselves because we can’t see our way to the other side and we don’t know how it’s going to happen. And that’s fair enough. We don’t know. We literally can’t see into the future. All we ever have is right now and we’re trying to make decisions, but it’s bloody scary. It is.

And so it’s not about denying the fear, because our brains are wired to keep us in our comfort zone. Literally, our brains are wired to keep us alive. So anything sort of stepping outside that cave, our brain’s like, “Hey, what’s up? Back inside, there might be lions out here. We know, yes, we might not have enough food in this cave, but we’re alive. So you’re really going to go out there and risk trying to find some apples on a tree when we know that there’s predators prowling around? Cave, cave, cave. We’ll sort it out. It’s good to be alive.” We are kind of like that. We are like that still. Our brains are like that.

And I actually deep dive into this inside my programme Ready For Change, because what we don’t realise is that there’s kind of ways to work around this. And there’s ways that I teach around fear that keep women moving. Because yeah, it’s a scary thing to think about. Scary for this woman to be thinking, having these thoughts. Wanting to pursue it, but just not… but feeling like it’s just too massive. But here’s the beautiful thing, is when we have those moments, and I know you’ve got them, because we all have them. I have those moments too where I’m just like, hang on a minute, this isn’t working. And it can be any area of your life. And to take sort of bold steps in the direction of letting go of what’s not serving you when you don’t even necessarily have an idea of what’s on the other side of that requires a little bit of bravery.

But I kind of now welcome those uneasy feelings because it’s like signposts. It’s like a signpost to you. We’re off track here. And I’m worth exploring this. I’m worth a life of happiness and fulfilment. But, I might feel a bit uncomfortable as I do that. But where am I at with this? Am I willing to sit with that discomfort for a little bit? It’s going to be uncomfortable. Am I willing to sit in the discomfort? Is it worth it? Yeah, it is. And I’m going to encourage you to sit in the discomfort, because honestly, you’re not going to move ever unless you kind of get comfortable with being a little bit uncomfortable. And if you’re listening to my podcast, then I know you’re a person who is interested in their own sort of personal evolution not bettering yourself, but evolving yourself, moving beyond the predictable thoughts that you have whenever some sort of event comes up or just sort of changing the patterns that you might have in your life that aren’t serving you for where you are now.

We are literally always evolving and changing, and I’m like, “Okay, let’s just grab this and run with it, make the best of.” It. And this is what I was wanting to encourage her to do. You don’t have to blow up the whole ship, and neither do you. There are small things that you can start to do to get yourself into some sort of momentum with this. Because being in that space of not being able to make a decision is… I mean, it’s boring. And also, what are we waiting for? Like literally, I kept on saying to her, “What are you actually waiting for?” There isn’t going to be a time where this feels like an easy decision to make. That’s not coming. So what can you do? What if it was actually simpler than just workshopping this around the people closest to you? Which, let’s let’s face it, we can share our problem, but we also have to be responsible for the fact that that doesn’t often move the needle.

So instead of being scared and just thinking she’s going to blow up her life her whole life, instead of not trusting this nudge, this intuitive hit inside her, she just pushes it away whenever she can. So I said, “What if it was simpler to start to take some action on this, like actually move the needle? And what if it was just as simple as beginning a journal so you’re not in your head about this? What if every day, you just spent 10 minutes writing it out?” Because we’re never going to solve our stuff doing things the same way. Otherwise she’d be in a different position by now. She would have either have decided to go all in with her husband or to go all in with this other guy, which what I sense from her is what she wants. She actually wants to be on the other side of this.

But we keep on going at the problem in the same way. And it’s like Einstein, that definition of insanity is doing things the same way and expecting a different result. You have to kind of pierce that. We we have to shift things. So maybe for her, it would be instead of talking or thinking, it’s writing, write about it. See then what it looks like to you after six months of potentially writing the same things and not moving anywhere. What does that do to someone? What does it do to you when you also get your stuff out of your head and onto paper? It doesn’t belong. You’ve made it sort of concrete. You get to reflect on it from a different way. Even just the act of holding a pen and letting words free flow is giving your brain a break. It’s putting things somewhere. It can tap into your subconscious, things can come out that maybe you hadn’t even consciously thought of yet. It’s a really good practise.

And you don’t have to be like an, “Every single day I journal for 15 minutes in a pretty book.” It can just be like, I don’t know, write on the back of a receipt. It doesn’t even matter. Don’t get caught up in doing it perfectly. And then I thought, what if it was simple as making an appointment, even with someone like a counsellor, someone who doesn’t know you? Everyone around us wants the best for us, but they’re not necessarily helpful in picking and pulling apart the blind spots that you might have. Or when you’re relating a story to someone else, how obvious it can start to feel what the solution is. Don’t you ever find that? So many times it’s like, it feels so obvious that I’m saying it now, or it feels so obvious when I’m writing it out. Or it’s like, sometimes our brains just need a different way to view something. And using someone who is not connected, emotionally attached to you is super, super helpful. That is an action step.

So it’s not actually making the big decision, it’s just like, hmm, what would be the next thing that I could do here? Oh yeah, well I could start writing about it. Oh yeah, I could go and talk to someone about it. I actually said to her as well, is you could just trust yourself. We massively overcomplicate things. She could very easily just decide that I’m done here and it’s my time to pursue that. But as I said, you have to be a certain type of person or you have to be a certain type of ready for that. Most of us need to make it simpler to just get into motion. And here’s the thing I think, so many of us and not… we’re protective of the people around us. We don’t want to upset them. We don’t want our stuff to impact them. We know that they might be really happy with the way things are, they don’t want us to change. They don’t want to consider living somewhere different. They’re really comfortable.

So say for example I don’t like living here anymore. This house just does not work for me. And you’re in a partnership, there’s someone else with you in that space. And you’re like, “I can’t live here anymore. I don’t want to.” Or for whatever reason. And then the act of actually selling a house or getting out of a lease and moving just feels so massive. So you just stay. You’re just like, “Ugh, not yet. I’ll just wait til it’s the right time and people are looking for houses or something.” I don’t even know. But we can give ourselves all sorts of reasons why we wouldn’t do something like change where we live because it’s not working for us anymore. And we also do that because we’re protecting people. “Well, I mean, I can’t just make that decision on behalf of everyone and off we go.” Can’t you? Can’t you?

I know for sure that amazing things can happen in relationships when one person steps into their power, for want of a better word. They start speaking their mind, they start working from their own intuition, they start rising into themselves. They stop being scared and they start speaking up. “Hey, this isn’t working for me.” Okay, well, then let’s talk about it. And so suddenly you’re on a page with someone. And it might be, “Right. Okay. We know we can’t move. We’ve got to stay here until the kids finish school.” I’m just making stuff up. But maybe, “What would make a difference? Maybe we should focus on our bedroom and make that more of a haven. Should we freshen up up the paint in the room? Buy some new linen? Should we get rid of all the junk?” And you could just start there. You could start with a big declutter and then see how you feel about your space. You can bring some plants in, some greenery, and then see how you feel about your space.That whole, “I’m going to just… This just all needs to change and we’ve got to do it and we’ve got to do it yesterday.” You could potentially find yourself in a waiting period forever. So where are there ways you can create these smaller, simpler steps to feeling better in your life that don’t require the blowups? Needless to say, I’m also sometimes a bit of a fan of the big ripping the whole bandaid off, let’s do this thing. But that’s because I’ve come a certain distance in my journey of trusting myself and also trusting that everything is always okay. I know that not everyone has that same belief. And it’s not everyone’s style. It doesn’t have to be, that’s totally okay.

But if we go back to this conversation that I was having with this woman about her marriage, what if one of her steps was to actually communicate what she’s feeling with her husband? Not in a, “I’ve made a final decision. This is happening.” But, “This is what I’m feeling. I’m confused by my feelings. I want to talk to you about it because I love and respect you enough to do that. I’m not too sure what to do right now.” And what might happen off the back of that? What if it reignited things? What if in the act of communicating that to her husband, she had a particular realisation or he had a realisation too and said, “You know what? I felt this distance. You know what? You deserve to go and explore this. And I love and respect you enough to give you that.” I mean, who knows, but we lock ourselves up in protection of other people because we think our happiness or what we want to pursue is going to have negative consequences for other people.

And maybe it’s actually the perfect consequences. I mean, maybe he’s feeling dissatisfied too, who knows? But when we stay in that space of inaction, when we paralyse ourselves thinking that everything’s so massive, then nothing ever changes. And nothing changes and nothing changes. And I remind women all the time that it doesn’t have to be big sweeping stuff. The simpler you make it for yourself to just start stepping into feeling good in whichever area of your life you’re feeling it, there will be ripple effects. And you get to be happy. It’s good to expect feeling good in your own life. But I get that we can ask ourselves some very big questions about what that might mean for us, what that might mean for the people around us, our future, all of those sorts of things. Of course, of course. No one’s saying it’s really easy and we don’t… Even although I have a certain trust in myself in what is unfolding, it doesn’t mean that things happen that aren’t ideal.

So I’m going to encourage you to think about simple ways to feel good. And I’ve got something coming up that you’re going to absolutely love that’s going to help with this. But in the meantime, if you’re itchy to understand more of this, if you’re getting itchy to dive deeper into yourself, understand how your brain is literally working against you in lots of ways and find a workaround, then I’d be getting onto the wait list for the next live round of Ready For Change. Because the wait list is going to have these special bonuses and things just for people on the wait list. If you’re curious at all, jump on it. lisacorduff.com/ready. And that link is in the show notes too. The time is coming.

Hope that was helpful. As always, let me know what you think. I just, when I was listening to that story with that woman, I thought there’s so many of us who can resonate with the idea that, but what if I start to do what might make me feel good, and then it blows up my life or I don’t even like what I’ve done? What? So I am sure that there is a small step that you can take to get yourself in momentum. It matters. See you soon.

Lisa Corduff: Hey, what if it was way simpler than you thought to feel good right now? That’s what we’re exploring in a brand new free five-day experience with me. Listen to me right now, you do not have to wait for anything to change to feel good. Nope. You don’t have to lose a dress size. Meet your dream partner. Have more money in your bank account, or have kids that sleep through the night. Stop waiting and start feeling good. I’ve got all the tools and resources ready in what will be a hugely transformational week just for you. I know you deserve to feel good. Do you? Register to join me at lisacorduff.com/feelgood. I cannot wait to see you there.

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"I’m here to help you break free from the stories holding you back, and create change that sticks"

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