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  1. #1

    How do you deal with fear and indecision?

    What do you do when you know you need to make changes in your life in order to be happy, but are so afraid of making a bad decision that you float along in limbo living with unhappiness and regret, not changing anything?

    The last time I dealt with this, I moved 3,000 miles away from home. This seems a little drastic given my current circumstances....when I moved I was 23, unemployed and without a dollar to my name. Now, I find myself in better circumstances (gainfully employed, in school, $5,000 in savings) yet my mental state really isn't any better now than it was then.

    How do you break the cycle? I find myself obsessing about aging so much that I'm literally locked in place....I can't even see through the clouds right now to figure out what I need to do.

    Anyone ever feel this way? At least I have the clarity to see the problem which I didn't have a few days ago....but at the time I'm mentally lacking in the means to find a solution. I need help...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,337
    Do you know where it is that you want to get to?

    Sometimes it's a good idea to have a "destination". Otherwise, you're going to spend a lot of time wandering. Not that it's a bad thing either, but I am not generally a fan of making a jump just for the sake of just making a jump.

    What is the obsession that you have about aging? Worried about getting older? Or just feeling like you're stuck and not getting ahead? (It then goes back to...well, where DO you want to go?)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by spiritedaway View Post
    Do you know where it is that you want to get to?

    Sometimes it's a good idea to have a "destination". Otherwise, you're going to spend a lot of time wandering. Not that it's a bad thing either, but I am not generally a fan of making a jump just for the sake of just making a jump.

    What is the obsession that you have about aging? Worried about getting older? Or just feeling like you're stuck and not getting ahead? (It then goes back to...well, where DO you want to go?)

    That's just it, I have no idea where I want to go in life. There are times where I THINK I know what I want but they are fleeting, and through the weight of my indecision I constantly convince myself I want something else.

    My level of discontent is at an all-time high. I used to cope with these feelings by constantly smoking weed, until I realized I was accomplishing nothing.

    At 23, I was able to deal with these feelings as it felt like I had all the time in the world. Now, at 26 I feel this horrible panic that I need to get my life figured out NOW.

    And yes, right now I'm absolutely terrified about getting older. I have absolutely nothing to show for anything right now. I've never had a real girlfriend so I don't know what it's like to feel loved/be in love but I'd very much like to find out. I feel like the lack of a healthy relationship is the main source of emptiness in my life, I have a lot of affection and love to give but I can slowly see it morphing into a cynical bitterness night after night of retreating to my bedroom alone.

    I'm terrified of getting older because I do feel stuck and don't feel as if I'm getting ahead. And if I knew where I wanted to go with my life, I wouldn't be having half the issues I'm having right now. I have NO focus in any given direction. What's going to change between now and 30 to give me that focus?

  4. #4
    Life has no meaning. Just make something up, and move towards it.

  5. #5
    CollegeDropOut - I'm with you on this one. I wish I had an answer too

    I feel empty/lost/scared/anxious/angry/regret...do you feel the same way?

  6. #6
    I wonder what happens to those who moved thousands of miles away after college only to be laid off 1-2 years later...

  7. #7

    heh you sound like me

    Indecision used to be a big problem of mine. Mostly because I thought that my ENTIRE future rested on every single little decision I made and if I F*ed up, then everything was ruined.

    Not true. Totally not true.

    I read a lot of books during my indecisive period when I just wanted someone to give me "the answer". I didn't figure out the secret to life, but I learned a lot that helped me out as a person- I wrote about it here: confusion in lessons

    I promise it's not a porn link. If you don't want to read it all, I'll sum it up here: it's better to just make a decision (even if it is a bad one) than to be so indecisive that you just end up doing NOTHING to change your situation at all. Being so indecisive that you just freeze is the ONLY sure fire GUARANTEE that you'll stay in the limbo of unhappiness that you fear.

    I'll share my favorite mantra: Imagine when you're 60 and think, "Wow, remember when I was in my twenties and thought I was so old and my life was so horrible? I was a dumbass. Now I need a catheter just to take a piss. Wish I could be 26 again."

    Cheer up

  8. #8
    I really like that mantra.

    Collegedropout, I was going through the same thing also and felt the same way. I felt that I needed to make a decision about the direction of my life and I was always looking online to try to find different careers, hobbies, and such. I finally decided that I always wanted to be a pilot despite the hardships, I figured it was better than the life I was living and made the decision, I am know enrolled in a flight program. I don't know where its going to take me but hopefully somewhere better than this.

  9. #9
    You are frozen by indecision?

    Well, I have felt exactly that way, too. So I read some books on decision making. One of them is called Smart Choices. It was good.

    99% of the time, all you need to make a decision is more information. Information gathering is the single most important part of decision making. So, if you cannot make a decision now, just spend lots of time gathering information. What degree programs are out there? What jobs are out there? Read, interview people, go on interviews, attend school information sessions. The more information you get, the easier the decision will be.

    Also, be aware you can make tiny decisions even when you're too afraid to make big ones. I was too afraid to go back to school for a computer science degree because it would cost $20,000 for my first year. So, I spent 2,000 and enrolled in community college taking computer science classes. Way less risk, yet it was a way of making a decision despite my fears. I was also too afraid to try online dating, so I joined some internet groups where I met like 15 people in a big group. Again, less risk, yet I could look for dates.

    Also, you complained in your other thread about not being able to make something happen with women even though they appear to like you. Well, I thought about this today. Two pieces of advice: give women one or two thoughtful compliments, and also listen to what they say and put yourself in their shoes for a moment, then find something to say that shows you know how they feel. In my experience, this builds bridges with women and they feel a connection to you. Just my two cents. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    in a dream
    Posts
    545

    Indecision

    Indecision is my problem...I'll obsess and wonder is it the right thing that I'm doing and then I start mentally draining myself. It's horrible and I wasn't always like that it just started creeping up on me over like the last two years...sometimes I wonder if I do get someone one day and they propose if I would agonize over the decision. I sometimes feel like I need to get a grip and stop worrying about doing things...havent been here in months but here I am again in 2011 on a very sucky night...
    cupkake missing icing!


    "that somebody was you"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    On an island
    Posts
    15,833
    I know it sounds cliche, but you should look for activities and small things you enjoy in your life, to bring it more meaning, and just overall appreciation.

    I think a lot of people struggle with this huge, big "thing" they want to find in life, that this thing, whatever it may be, clouds what they have right in front of them.

    I also feel that just getting involved in something (again, whatever that may be!) will help.

  12. #12

    You're Not Alone

    I do know what you're going through. I got laid off almost a year ago. I hated the job and was actually glad I got laid off. I was 29 at the time and knew I was at a crossroads in my life. I was approaching 30, didn't have much to show for it, was having career ADD and needed to figure out what I wanted to do that would make ME happy. I had always had an interest in a couple of different careers, so I started volunteering to get a taste of what these careers would be like and if I truly would enjoy these careers. I also did a lot of career research and read a ton of books trying to find a career that would make me happy. I decided that teaching was what I truly wanted to do. But, I knew I would have to go back to school to achieve this goal. At first, I was indecisive and fearful. I was a little scared about going back to school at age 30 and how I would be perceived by a bunch of 19, 20 year old college kids. I was also concerned about taking on more student loan debt. Then I thought, well how do I truly know this is the career I want to have? What if I go back to school, spend all that time and money and find out I don't like teaching? But, I overcame the fear and indecision and took the plunge and so far it's been a rewarding experience. I just started my second semester a couple of weeks ago and I still feel that this is the career I was supposed to be in. So, I would recommend to you that if you want to do something, do it! Don't let the negative thoughts hold you back.

  13. #13

    I have become this way.

    What do you do when you know you need to make changes in your life in order to be happy, but are so afraid of making a bad decision that you float along in limbo living with unhappiness and regret, not changing anything?
    When I was younger, it was easy to just pick up and go or do whatever. As the years have gone by, its seems to become more and more difficult. Now, and for the past 10 yrs or so I am so afraid of making the wrong decision and think all the what ifs and I have really made no major changes in the past 10 years. I daydream about things, new and different things that i would like to do or change about my life constantly but I always find so many reasons why "this way" is more practical and its somewhat comfortable so why rock the boat.

    That's just it, I have no idea where I want to go in life. There are times where I THINK I know what I want but they are fleeting, and through the weight of my indecision I constantly convince myself I want something else.
    I also question myself alot. And (for instance) sometimes feel like maybe I'm just being selfish wanting something more than I already have.

    it's better to just make a decision (even if it is a bad one) than to be so indecisive that you just end up doing NOTHING to change your situation at all. Being so indecisive that you just freeze is the ONLY sure fire GUARANTEE that you'll stay in the limbo of unhappiness that you fear.
    very good advice Gemma.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    26

    @stillsearching

    Great advice...I'm in your situation at 29...how did you volunteer for teaching?

  15. #15
    I guess the only questions that require much thinking is who to get married to... but even then, it's still irreversible. The shit that actually requires decision making is stuff we take for granted everyday like what to eat, whether to exercise and what time to sleep - shit adds up and leads to poor health when you get older.

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