It’s Beginning To Look Like A Lot Like Self-Evaluation Time?
What's with the cliché between ending the year and hard life choices?
We’re nearing the end of the year and it seems like a good time to ponder about what we should do for next year. Perhaps, when you’re reading this, you’re thinking about quitting your jobs, creating a side-hustle, or just feeling like you need to reassess your values?
What you’re feeling right now is ambivalence. Having the feeling of ambivalence is extremely humane – we’ve been there and to be really honest… It sucks. There is no other way than saying that you’ll suffer and it might be the reason why you’re feeling miserable while listening to Taylor Swift’s whole discography to validate your feelings.
While it is true that ambivalence causes mixed feelings of being torn and confused, it can actually be beneficial for decision-making. According to studies, ambivalence can even boost creativity, advice-seeking, and job-hunting efforts – even lessen commitment to unsuccessful paths of action. Caza et al has conducted a study on how ambivalence on career and identity can lead to positive results. The study shows that you can utilize ambivalence to build a more authentic and rewarding career.
Now, let’s talk about the repercussions of ambivalence and help you navigate through it.
When facing ambivalence, it is undeniable that we’re considering our “identity complex” and it defies our need for consistency. By challenging the consistency we desire, there is a tendency to act upon impulsive decisions and/or avoid making the decision altogether. Perhaps reading this article might be your form of procrastination, well… I’m here to tell you that there's no need for you to delay making decisions.
By delaying your contemplation, it may stretch on for weeks, months, or even longer, depriving us of our sense of participation in the present and even our sense of happiness with life. These ambivalence-avoidant behaviors can also cause individuals to downplay and compromise significant aspects of their identity. Even so, there is no need for you to be scared to take action.
The research shows that embracing ambivalence might promote authenticity and self-awareness. They discovered that people who frequently struggle with competing feelings and views also have higher degrees of open-mindedness. Additionally, according to the research, ambivalence enables you to reach a brand-new viewpoint with less judgements, resulting in a more positive discernment rate. This is because people with ambivalence have more awareness of the complexity of their circumstances.
With curiosity, approach ambivalence and take some time to acknowledge your feelings. Since ambivalence might feel uncomfortable, you might centralize this discomfort to your entire circumstance and perceive it as a sign that something has gone wrong. But in truth, it might be a lighthouse pointing you in the direction of a better future. However, note that this ambivalence can efficiently work when there is no pressure to make a faster decision.
What if you’re being pressured by a deadline?
If you can, set a deadline that won't be reached right away so you have time to spend exploring your feelings and weigh your options. By doing this, you are better able to make an informed decision because you have time to harness your ambivalence's knowledge rather than repress it.
The foremost important thing: the decision should feel like it’s yours – not anyone’s… but YOURS.
If it makes you any better, let it be known that a single career choice doesn't have to define your entire life. This could be you choosing a decision of a “for now” choice. As your career progresses, you’ll find that there will be a lot of ambivalence and decisions and you’ll be able to understand that these decisions are helping you to elevate your endeavors instead of creating a finalized reality. Note that there will always be another decision to be made in the future, which is the beauty of most career decisions in that they are frequently reversible or at least recoverable.
I might not be able to guide you through every single decision you’ll ever make. But, 180 Degrees Consulting is able to navigate your business through ambivalence.
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Based on Harvard Business Review’s article Embrace Ambivalence When Making Big Career Decisions
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