I have a tendency to want everyone’s opinion on everything before I move forward with something. Especially areas I am very uncomfortable with like… buying a car, going on a date, eating meat… these are just a few, in the past, I’ve spent hours asking about and finally coming home with an overflow of opinions I don’t know the difference between theirs and mine. So, I usually end up doing nothing.
A few months ago my little old 2001 Honda Civic (who I had affectionally named Harry) died on me, the engine and the gaskets blew and I was left with no car and not much money to figure out what to do next. But, me being me I put foot to pavement and did the research I needed to get a car. Two day’s later I find myself at my local Toyota dealer looking at this gorgeous black Ford Focus, 2012.
I was in love. I wanted it and I didn’t want anything else. However, the hard part was the daunting task of sitting down with the dealer and negotiating price and terms.
I had showed up with a script, what to ask for, what I didn’t want, and what to walk away from.
After 45 minutes of negotiating price, terms, and a continual text thread from my sister and my mother, the dealer finally turned to me and said.
“What do YOU want?”
I paused. He continued, “It’s wonderful you have these opinions but at the end of the day you’re driving this car and YOU are paying for it, so tell me; what do you want?”
I put my phone down, looked at the numbers and told him.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want my sister or mothers opinion. No, I’m glad I had them. But I began to drown in them and worried more about what THEY thought of my purchase then what I really thought of it.
I bought the car, his name is Cornelius. I like to call him my sexy thang. 😉
The moment I put down my phone, put away the opinions, and really focused on what I wanted from the situation. I’ve never felt such clarity and… what is that called? Oh, yes –
I recently had another situation happen in my personal life, I walked away feeling overwhelmed and confused. With no clear idea of what I actually wanted, but rather over stimulated by other peoples wants, needs, and opinions of what I SHOULD do. Making the decisions for me rather then me making the decision myself.
I remembered that car dealer. I took a step back, deciding to stay on the DL (that’s the down low) for a little bit while I put my head back on. Maybe I’ll be able to look at it with new eyes and decide how I want to move forward, for me.
Not for what other people want, but for what I WANT.
Opinions are great. Seeking advice is great. Needing a sounding board is great. However, after all of that’s done – don’t forget it’s your life these decisions are actually affecting. Take a moment. Ground yourself. Put away the noise and listen to what you need.
Things I do to help shut the fucking noise up.
Stop talking about it.
Seriously. Stop talking about it. That’ll straight off calm down some of that noise for you and enable you to think and see more clearly. Especially if you’re talking yourself in circles.
Anything. If you journal – than pull out your journal and write that shit down. If you don’t, just take a moment and write a paragraph or two on what you want, what you might want, and how you want to get it. Freestyle that shit because half the time our best ideas come when we don’t really have any aim or goal and are just exploring the possibilities.
Listen to some music.
And don’t tell me you don’t listen to music. I don’t believe that, I call you out on your bullshit. Turn on some tunes that inspire or invoke some kind of emotion, it may help organize the mess that IS your head. (I’ve been digging Shallow Words by Picture Atlantic off of their new album, Assouf)
Some of the clearest moments in my life are when I’m listening to someone sing and play exactly how I feel. It makes me put my shoes back on and process shit I wouldn’t have been able to process without it.
Go do something else for a while.
Put it away for a while. I’m always surprised when I stop focusing on something, a week later I’ll come back to it and realize exactly what I want to do/how to best proceed/etc. It’s amazing how we don’t realize half the time our head is trying to figure out what we need even when we aren’t giving it our full attention. So, exhausted and really don’t know what to do? Then, leave it. Don’t think about it for a bit. Try to come back in a week with a more rested and relaxed approach. It’ll take away some of the anxiety, stress, and MUST DO attitude and enable you to have a freer approach.
Now, to finish off. I’ve got a few things I’ve got to go figure out. One of my all-time favourite things to do to stop the noise and immediately lift my mood? Sing. I’m a sucka for singing. So, imma go sing my little heart out and poorly play my uke while I work through some of this shit.
On a more important note…
I’ll leave you all with this, a picture of me obviously struggling REAL hard.
What’re you working through right now? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the opinions before? Comments or questions? Leave in the comments below!