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Does anyone else freeze whenever they have to make a big decision?

Right now, I'm in my last semester of college. I had originally intended to apply to graduate programs in the fall. But then it was like I just froze. I couldn't make a decision. I couldn't even decide if I wanted to go to grad school. That time also happened to correspond with mood swings so severe I was diagnosed as bipolar. Now I'm on medication, and I feel a lot better in general.

But now it has come time to decide whether or not I want to take a year off and then go to grad school. I figured by now the medication would be helping and I wouldn't be having these roller coaster mood swings that cause me to freeze. But here I am again, exactly where I was last semester. I stare at the lists of graduate programs, and it's like there's a battle between my logical side and my emotional side. My logical side says I should go to graduate school, that I should apply to as many programs as possible. However, my emotional and intuitive side says grad school isn't right for me. Adding another complication, my Fe wants to please everybody, especially my parents, and I know choosing not to go to grad school won't please them.

What I really want to do in life is become a successful novelist, which has nothing to do with my course of study (Economics). However, I know this is a path that depends on so many external factors and a great deal of chance. But it's also the only thing I've ever loved doing. Because of this, there's another part of me that says I'd be happy working any old job as long as I can write. But at the same time, my happiness also depends on the happiness of others, and I know this decision won't make others happy.

tl;dr What can I do to keep myself from freezing when I have to make major decisions? How do I manage the battle between my emotional side and my logical side? Should I do what others want me to do and make them happy, or should I do what I want to do regardless of the feelings of others?
 

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Pfff I "froze" when it came to applying to colleges and jobs and although the applications are filled out I still haven't sent them and my last year of high school is close to an end. Whatever you do, even if you are acting upon the call of others or even the world itself, you must make your decision for yourself. Fuck what others want of you. Fuck what your intuition and feelings want, and fuck what your logical side wants, because with the way it seems you are letting your mind ride you and let it get the best of you.

The best thing you can do is detach from it and your negativity, let it all go, and do not let the stress of the decision get to you because then it will make you negative. Cool down and shut off your mind (it's possible). Meditate if necessary, and when you come back to everything your mind will be refreshed and you can then decide what you want to do. The biggest thing that you need to realize is that the only way you will be able to make others happy is by ensuring your own happiness, and in order to do that you need to make decision for yourself, not for others or even your own mind.
 

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Yep, I want to chose my own path and when people keep pushing me I pause, I even rebel if I don't like what's going on, I've learned to be more assertive.
 
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well I was worried about working in the energy field, but then I realized work is just mundane BS

it's so mundane they have to pay you to do it! hhahahaha

it's a civilized workplace and the money isn't bad, so I'm ok with it!

got to have something to pay the bills, unless you want to be a starving artist (lol)
 

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Yeah, freezing before a big decision is one thing that ALWAYS gets to me. If I can't get some perspective on it, I'll either avoid it while my stress increases exponentially, or I'll over-analyze it to the point of driving myself insane. At some point, you just have to stop trying to do what others want you to do, because there are so many people in your life who will want you to do different things, it will only make things overly complicated. I know it's much harder than it sounds, but just do what you feel is right. Don't make a certain decision in life because someone else wants you to; it's your life, not theirs, and you should make your own decisions about what you should do.

And like InsanityRemix mentioned, meditating can really help clear your mind and get your thoughts straight again.
 

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Yup...when confronted with a threat, there's three things people will do out of biological instinct--fight, flight, or freeze.

I think I just get so overwhelmed, I leave it for later when I'm less overwhelmed. Unfortunately, sometimes the overwhelmed feeling never goes away...
 

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Yes! I've been contemplating a major life change. The final decision has to be mine. If close relatives try to sway me in one direction, I rebel, and I sway in the opposite direction. However, the two opposing forces help me think logically about what to do. When I finally made my decision, I felt so much better, because my decision was made (and not because I was 100% certain that it was the right decision).

Even with smaller matters, I freeze if I'm nervous. Major Brain Freeze. I thought I would grow out of this, but at 57, it is still a major problem. Perhaps it's that need to be perfect, or is that my Enneagram type 1 leaking out....

Snowbird
 

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@rwm4768

This weighted decision matrix is a tool for deciding between multiple options: Weighted Decision Matrix » Lean HR

Chosing your criteria is an important part of the process. A tool like this may give you some ideas:
Career Resources for Job Seekers

Sometimes after going through the process, your gut tells you the results can't be right! If that is the case, go back and look at the criteria you chose and the weights you assigned. You may be missing something there.....

The tool can be helpful by giving you a chance to stand back from the emotional aspects of decision making (doubt, discouragement, anxiety, etc.).

Good luck!!
 
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