I have a little rule when buying clothes.
My friend, Nadine and I have often joked about it.
If you try something on, but then find yourself fiddling with it, adjusting it, or pulling it around?
Take it off and don’t buy it, no matter how much you like it, because it’s not right.
Sometimes it’s a bit annoying when you really want it to be right, but I’m never thrilled with the outcome when I go against this particular rule.
More than once Nadine and I have shopped together and I’ve tried something on and she’s had to point out: you’re fiddling, remember your rule? Don’t you hate it when people quote you back to yourself?
If it’s right, it will sit properly and look and feel great with no extra fuss.
This applies to other decisions as well.
Let me give you a funny example.
Earlier this year, right before my husband lost his job, I had a really deep desire for a greater sense of security (my intuition was onto it). I decided to apply for a part-time teaching role I came across, and figured I could still see clients, just a day or two less and could do this other job (it was 5 days/fortnight). The whole idea seemed super sensible.
The job was at a posh private girls school. I started making adjustments TO MYSELF to fit the idea.
“I’ll need new clothes.
And new shoes.
Oh and new bags.
I will need to go and read a whole lot of papers and websites so I can learn about things I have limited interest in.
And then this: well they might not like me being so public on Facebook and Twitter, so I’ll need to change that (and then worrying: have I ever said anything a school would find inappropriate, ever? I think I’m fine. Am I fine?)
AND THEN: I really should modify my “about page” to sound a bit more “corporate” (don’t worry I changed it back).
All evidence: worst idea ever
I mean, not ever. Just not a good idea for me.
I wanted it to be the right idea, at that moment, but it really wasn’t. No amount of fiddling around was going to make it right.
Luckily, I didn’t even get an interview. A few months later the school ended up all through the media for a money scandal.
And of course well before that I had already realised: I really should listen to my own advice more often.
How to know you’re making the wrong decision
Here are some tell tale signs:
- You start thinking about how you can change to make the idea work
- There is no flow
- It feels forced
- You find yourself justifying the idea to yourself (and probably others too)
What to do
Alas – there are no short-cuts to getting to know yourself and what’s best for you, and noone can do it for you (or me!) You might try:
- Kinesiology sessions
- Structured goal setting and reflection (you might try Leonie Dawson’s fab workbooks - I used them this year)
- Journalling about how you feel
- My DIY Kinesiology Kit – coming soon
So tell me: have you ever known you were making the wrong decision, but tried to force it to be right?
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