It’s strange how new opportunities can sometimes feel really threatening.
My recent bout of confusion and low mood was triggered by finding out about a job opportunity. Something that would be interesting and almost certainly enjoyable. It would probably give me some of the challenge and responsibility that I’ve been feeling frustrated at not getting with my current employer. But it would keep me working for that same employer. I’d pretty much decided that I definitely need to move on, and seek out a different career altogether. So considering staying with my current employer opened up a few cans of worms I wasn’t expecting to have to look into again.
But of course it’s only an opportunity – how can that possibly feel threatening? Partly that it puts some pressure on me to decide in the next week or so whether I want to go for this new job. It also makes me look at my reasons for wanting to move on, and what I’m trying to move away from and towards. But actually I think the most daunting thing is that it opens up the possibilities that I need to choose between. I’m very prone to try to make the “perfect” decision, rather than just going for the option that seems best at the time. And having more options makes the decision process so much harder!
I’ve heard of a few pieces of research lately that suggest that too much choice can be really bad for us, because it forces us to make difficult decisions, and there’s a danger of feeling bad because of focussing on all the things we’re not choosing! Irrational on one level, but human moods are rarely that rational…
Lots more to think about, anyway. And, as often happens, starting to unpack the problem makes the low mood start to lift. On the upswing again.