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Friday
Jun132014

Beware of Buyer's Remorse 

There comes a time when you must choose. You must choose which college to attend, which house to buy, if you will get married and to whom, if you will take the new job, if you will buy that car. We are faced with making choices all the time. Most of our choices are relatively small--what do I want to have for dinner, which blouse will I wear today, which project will I work on, etc. However, from time to time we have big choices to make. Choices that have big implications. Choices that usually involve selecting from more than one option.

A funny thing happens when we are forced to "choose."  We become anxious, even obsessed with making the right choice. We struggle to consider all the factors involved with making that decision. For some, choosing something big, new and different is easy. For others, its painstaking. But for most everyone, there is a common phenomenon known as "Buyer's Remorse."

Buyer's remorse is that moment when you realize that what "was" is now gone. It's the moment when you realize there is no going back. The marriage is official, escrow has closed, the relationship has ended, you've quit the old job, you've begun your first day of college.

What is buyer's remorse really about? Why do we suddenly miss our old life? What is at stake when we let go of the past and move on to the future? Aren't we doing this all the time anyways?

To help you navigate through your big "choices," here are a few things to know when it comes to buyer's remorse.

It is completely normal to feel a loss of the oldwhen transitioning to the new. Even if the choice involves something that is positive and wanted, all change requires letting go of the past and feeling the loss. Even if what was, was not that great, when you're experiencing change, the familiar seems far better than the unknown.  Understand that dealing with loss and letting go of what was is an important part of making choices and experiencing change. Allow yourself time to mourn--even if you don't quite understand why the past now seems so special.

When you are forced to choose between two or more options, you are bound to run into some internal conflict. Most choices involve two options that have equal value in different ways. There rarely is a choice that stands out as exceptional from all others. Because of this, many people suffer from the "what if" syndrome. "What if I made the wrong choice?"  can resonate inside your head for some time, especially when your new beginning feels "rocky."

Here's the thing to remember. There is no perfect choice. There is no one future you are destined to have. There is no crystal ball. The best anyone can do is to make the best choice with the information one has--and know that whatever choice you make, that is the right one.  Our lives consist of experiences that result from thousands, if not millions of choices we make throughout our lifetime. There is no one direct path from which we will live. Any choice you make is good. It's the choice that will lead you to the next one and the next one and the next one after that.

Some choices have immediate consequences and sometimes those consequences are painful. Most of the time these are unanticipated and unintentional. When this happens, people tend to feel a sense of regret and often wish for a "do-over."  Unfortunately life does not work that way. You never know what any one choice will lead to down the road. If you can live your life making the best of what life gives you and understand that everything you experience is temporary anyways, you will be able to bend with the wind with more grace and ease. Just give it some time and a new circumstance awaits you. Remember, life really is just a series of choices. So if worse comes to worse, simply make another choice.

This brings me to my final thought. Transitioning from the old to the new takes time--the bigger the change, the longer the transition. Being in the space between the old and new can be uncomfortable. You know life is different but you're not sure how that difference will feel once you have truly settled in. Give yourself the time and space to settle in. Give yourself permission to be uncomfortable for a while. Learn to get comfortable with the unknown. Find something or someone to hold onto until there is solid ground beneath you.

So if you've made a choice and have an immediate negative reaction, wait. Don't try to "change back your life." You are probably just feeling some Buyer's Remorse. This is not the time to come to any final conclusions. Most probably, it will pass.  It's just the nature of things. Change is unsettling. New is unfamiliar. In time, the unfamiliar will be your new normal--I promise--that is, until your next big purchase :-). 

If you are someone you know is struggling with change, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve.

Be well,

Julie

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

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