When in Doubt, Toss a Coin

Have you ever felt stuck trying to make the right decision about something? I sure have. When I get into this predicament, my first resort is to make lists. I’m the queen of pros and cons…exhausting every possible reason I should or shouldn’t do something.

It’s funny because I’ve noticed my kids doing this, too. Avery came home from school yesterday asking if it was a “work day.” I told her it was, and we talked about how sometimes I work from home and other times I go into the office to get things done. She decided to make a list of pros and cons to figure out where she wanted to work one day. (Yes, she’s only 10, and I totally love her planning skills.)

After much thought, she came to the conclusion that working in an office would be better for her because there are less distractions (like stuffed animals, pets and iPods), you get to make new friends and have lunch together, and it’s just fun to get out of the house sometimes. She made a pretty darn good case.

But what do you do if your pros and cons are completely even-steven? Then what?!

I turn to Friends. As in the sitcom from the late 90s – early 2000s. Remember that show?! My real-life friends are incredible and helpful, too! But, in one of my favorite episodes of Friends, this happened…

Rachel took a pregnancy test to see if she was having Ross’ baby. She was so nervous and unsure about the result, that she had one of her BFFs, Phoebe, look at the stick and tell her the news.

At first, Phoebe told her it was negative. No baby. When Rachel felt sad about it, Phoebe told her the real result…positive. And then she explained, “Well, at least you know how you really feel about it now!”

Such a tricky move, but powerful. And it stuck.

As silly as it may sound (that a sitcom gave me advice on life), I still go back to the essence of the lesson. If I’m really not sure about something, I can ask myself how I’d feel without it.

Instead of getting stuck in my head and making logical list after list, I need to stop for a minute, get real with how I feel, and then go with my gut.

And here’s a surefire way to check your gut. Toss a coin.

And I don’t mean because you’ve given up all hope and you’re leaving your decision to pure luck. I mean because of this beautiful exercise…

Kind of like the Rachel moment when she felt sad because of the thought of not having a baby…you can check your emotions with literally the flip of a coin.

Once you have that pure, instinctual answer, don’t waiver. Believe in yourself. Make the choice. Go for it – and don’t look back.