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TMS and Decision-Making

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by lexylucy, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Sometimes I have a decision that I debate over and over...Then I finally make the decision. Then doubt creeps in...was it the right decision? Then I am debating about something I have already thought about.

    With using Internal Family Systems Therapy I can see-

    There is a part of me that genuinely wants to do something.
    There is a part/or parts that have concerns or fears about this.

    But then there is a part that likes being in a debate about something because it keeps me in a state of non-action.

    It also keeps me in a state of distraction.

    Does anyone else experience this?

    Could it be TMS or PPD?

    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    First in my opinion no quick fix had the same issues…what help me quiet my mind was meditation..plain and simple I still get a chatty mind but I let those thoughts pass like clouds in the sky
  3. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    I think this is linked to perfectionism. Perfectionists have a hard time making a decision because we're not happy with just a good decision, it has to be the best decision. And then we wonder whether we should have done differently.

    Procrastination and delayed decision making are classic perfectionist problems. We put stuff off because we don't want to do it, because if we do it, there's a chance we won't do it perfectly. So instead, we put things off, so we can then tell ourselves, 'Oh, I would have done a better job but I ran out of time!', and other such lies.

    I have had CBT for perfectionism, and I was taught to just get on with it. The only way to overcome procrastination like this is to just make a decision, and accept that it is good enough. 'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good' or something is a Voltaire quote I now try to live by, and I have to say, with practise, it becomes easier to just get stuck in rather than debating things so as to put them off.

    Best of luck.
  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    This is a great question lexylucy, and strikes at the heart of TMS. It's why the good doctor called it a divided mind. The TMS comes from this back and forth in the banter of confusion. Wanting vs. not wanting. Caring vs. not caring.

    The procrastination allows for the non action. If action were to be taken, then criticism would be a certainty. Criticism is a form of rejection, and rejection is a form of isolation. Isolation is the biggest fear.

    Aristotle said, "to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." But it's deeper than that. The reason the shame prevents an action is because the person isn't sure of the action. Their level of consciousness isn't such that they know they're taking the correct steps, and to avoid the rejection they continue through mental scenario analyses, what ifs.

    So, you can see that the right path is straight and narrow. You can't allow yourself to be pulled in many directions and still reach your goal. Choose a life and know what you are doing is correct. Almost everyone I talk to is unemployed, or hates their job, in career limbo. The author of The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron, said that vocation was the hottest topic in her seminars. Whenever she brought up the topic of jobs, every sensitive hand in the room went up. People simply don't know what to do with their lives. They haven't found a path, and so they experience pain. The pain pushes them toward their path.

    Consciousness relates to confidence. The more aware we are of something the more more confidence we have, the less confusion, the less procrastinating. The person in pain isn't quite sure. Lost. Wanting to take the step, but unaware enough to avoid shame, if the wrong step is taken. Low self esteem doesn't help with the first step. Then someone like Dr. Sarno comes along with great confidence, because he had become more aware of something, he didn't doubt. So he took his steps with confidence.

    Carl Jung said, "We want to have certainties and no doubts, results and no experiments, without even seeing that certainties can arise only through doubt and results only through experiment. The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction; on the contrary, a wider and higher consciousness is required to give us the certainty and clarity we need.”

    So, he means, we need the doubts first in order to become more certain, and we need to try, and possibly fail, to get results. And with TMS, denying a problem only creates more pain, it does not free us. When we deny something there is no conviction behind it, no confidence. We only become confident (less doubt) when our consciousness has expanded to the point that we are willing to take the first few steps.

    You're correct, there is a part of us that likes being in the debate, it keeps us from moving ahead, where there can be no rejection.

    Anne Walker, 3rdCoast, rabbit and 2 others like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    A great discussion and advice from Steve.

    When I am uncertain about what to do next, I remember the advice F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE.
    His main character came home from World War I disillusioned and undecided about his future.
    He didn't even have a clue as to what to do next.

    He talked to a priest who advised, "Do the next thing. If you have two or more things you might do, do one of them.
    It will lead you to do the next thing."

    That has worked for me over the years. The next things I've done have led me to where I know I should be.
  6. PepperGirl

    PepperGirl Peer Supporter

    This advice from Steve is amazing and has struck a chord with me. My pain was at the time of pregnancy and childbirth. I am better and day-to-day I am happy and have escaped the pain. But I breakdown and cry from time to time as I want another child. I am fearful. It sometimes feels like grief. The pain is linked with when my body was different - It had a baby in it. I started to get better when my son was 1 and a year later when he was 2 I felt myself again. My body hasn't been pregnant again and the pregnant body has become a difficult image for me. I want another child / I don't want another child. I will be ok next time / It might be just the same next time......?My mind is divided. Steve's words have made me stop in my tracks..........
    ''And with TMS, denying a problem only creates more pain, it does not free us. When we deny something there is no conviction behind it, no confidence. We only become confident (less doubt) when our consciousness has expanded to the point that we are willing to take the first few steps''.
    Thank you Steve. Words such as yours here make me stand outside of myself and see things differently. Thank you.
  7. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    I do the same thing sometimes.......
  8. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Thank you so much for all of your wonderful responses. I have posted on here before and felt instant relief and I definitely feel a little better but I have to admit this is such a place that my mind tends to go. It feels safe to be in a debate about something. What should I wear, when should I eat ...these decisions sound superficial and they are but my mind tends to think that there is an absolute decision to every question - a right answer - things I should and should not have done. Decisions that were wrong...etc. Part of it is everything and all of the spiritual teachers I have studied who talk about living in the moment and being present and then when I am not acting from that place or I can feel myself acting from a place of compulsivity, impatience, greed, acting without feeling connected to my heart, than I really feel it. And when I act from a place other than being in full alignment with who I am and my own power and connection to the divine it is very hard to let it go and move on ---bringing all of my energy into the present moment but here I find I am able to feel that present place as I am writing...

    As far as bigger decisions my decisions stem I think from feeling very out of place here in California. I am from Brooklyn and this is a foreign place to me. I think a lot of my emphasis on decision making may come from how strange it is for me here. I have a wonderful life. I am doing all kinds of things that I totally enjoy. And my vocation for the past 4 years has been a joyous blessing. I feel creative, prolific, productive, and like I am diving in to challenges and new things in my life...I don't feel lost. I feel thankful!!

    These tiny decisions are like nats flying around me that I am slapping and swatting and being distracted by. It is so annoying!!
    I'd like to think I don't need this pattern anymore!!!!

    thanks again,
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    PepperGirl, you can't make a mistake unless you consider it to be a mistake. Whatever path we choose is the right one, unless and until we try to defeat what we have learned along the way with doubt.

    Whichever route is chosen will get you to the same spot if your goal is to live, learn, grow, and love. There's no wrong way if experience is your mission. If your goal is money then there are many wrong roads to take.

    So, you can't go wrong if you choose to either have, or not have. Experience is the reward, even if it's deemed as a bad one by you. Regret is an anchor that prevents you from floating.
  10. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    "you can't make a mistake unless you consider it to be a mistake. Whatever path we choose is the right one" @Steve Ozanich

    Sometimes I wish I believed this but I don't. I really think that it matters WHERE our choices come from. If I make a choice based on my past experiences or beliefs that aren't serving me anymore than I am creating unnecessary suffering in my life. If I choose to take risks and make choices that bring me into new realms and new ways of thinking than I am free of the past and truly growing.

    However if I OBSESS about making a decision which is the best or the right one just as a distraction than I think for me this is TMS. And thinking that I have to be in alignment at every moment is too much pressure. Especially with past decisions I should just let them go and move on in the best way I can :)

    Thanks for your support and love! :)
  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a complex question. Imagine how many decisions we make in a day! I remember when I worked at a deli counter in college it used to drive me crazy watching all those faces all day starring at the big menu behind me, trying to decide what to eat and then constantly second guessing and changing their minds. Now that is me driving my husband crazy! I had a good friend, homeopathic teacher, that believed every decision could be easily answered just by asking and tuning in for an answer. There are obviously varying levels of importance in the decisions we make. Perhaps there are no right or wrong but our propensity to regret can certainly make them so. Recently I was caught up and very stressed out over a decision where to move our office. We have outgrown ours and end up using the reception area which makes our other office mates unhappy. But there is still 7 months left on our lease. I found someone to take over our lease but the options of where to move were limited. For me, my office is like my home, it is where I spend a lot of time and I want it to have just the right esthetic and feel. My husband has a hard time understanding this. For him it is a more practical decision, close proximity to referral sources, cost etc. There were a lot of parts and people to please and I was really getting worked up over the decision. Then one morning earlier this week I sat quietly with myself for about an hour. And as I sat there, a question came up "does this decision have to be made right now? Could I figure out a way not to use the reception area for business and decide where to move when our lease is up in 7 months?" The answer was yes and this felt like the right decision. I called my husband and told him what I decided and we let all the other parties involved know of our decision. I don't know how to judge if this was the right decision but it feels right and I actually feel excited. I feel a sense of possibility, like things might come together in a really good way in the future. Sometimes when a decision is really difficult to make and it is causing a lot of stress, its good not to force it and trust that best choice for you will come if you relax and listen. I had breast cancer 10 years ago and I had to make a big decision that felt very life or death at the time. All the doctors had different ideas as to what was best and I did not know who to listen to. The decision making process was probably the biggest part of the whole ordeal. In the end I decided to have a single mastectomy with no radiation, chemo or tamoxifin. After the biopsy of the breast it appeared that I had made the right decision but it was also one of those "only time will tell" kind of a thing. I am not sure how I have not worried about or second guessed the decision. I worry about everything else! But somehow the sheer enormity of the decision forced me to really tune in and make the decision. And once that was done, I made the choice not to torture myself and accept whatever happened. Sometimes that is the best we can do.
  12. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member


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