When making important decisions, I sometimes find myself trying to over-intellectualize something I am stuck on, talking through the same issues with friends in an endless loop, or otherwise evaluating a next move without making any progress toward clarity. The mental spinning is merely a chew toy for my mind, one that keeps me busy but offers no nutrition.
At this point, there are two courses of action to take — or a combination of both:
Relax, meditate, tune in to your intuition. If there is no clarity, sit with the discomfort and have faith that the right next action will arise. Surrender to the uncertainty. Trust that things will work out, and look for learning in the meantime.
See the situation like a scientist. Look for experiments to run. Gather more data. Ask different, more refined questions. Observe your thoughts over a period of time.
If you are having trouble evaluating a pilot or a decision, and that confusion is preventing you from moving forward, try this exercise: Track that focus area for 30 days.
Rate how you feel about the pilot or decision every day on a scale of 1 to 5. At the same time, write down short, daily notes to add a qualitative observation component to the tracking exercise. Oftentimes just the increased awareness from being an observer during this time inspires new, small actions within each day. Here's a template to help with that.
At the end of the observation period, review the data. What trends emerge? As my friend Jenny Ferry says, "Stay curious. Situations are either resolving or dissolving." The same can be said for anything you feel stuck on. Stay curious and open to the direction the situation is taking rather than forcing a solution or weighing it down with expectations. In doing so, you can objectively observe whether it is resolving or dissolving and what next steps to take as a result.