• Josh Klapow

The Marrow of the Existential Itch: Ambivalence


Some thoughts from Dr. Josh on his recent contribution to Headspace.com.

Decide Not To Decide

Inspired from the article: https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/03/20/being-indecisive/

Ambivalence- The Marrow of The Existential Itch. Sometimes it's ok to not know what to do. We live in a society where decision making is so valued. Commit, decide, do it now. But what if we took a step back. What if we DECIDED not to decide? Ambivalence is often our deeper self telling us to stop and think. You can be assertive, you can be a leader, you can be successful by not jumping on every decision.

Very often we are making decisions not based on certainty but based on the anxiety we have that we are not deciding.

Should I sleep with them?

Should I send the email, text or tweet?

Should I take the job? Should I quit?

When we “cant” decide we often interpret this as something is wrong. But the anxiety that we feel in not making a decision can be useful if we use it.

Ambivalence is our mind’s way of saying something is not quite right. But we interpret that very often as I can’t make a decision.

Here’s my shrinkage—the next time you can’t decide on anything- or you start feeling the pressure to make a decision – stop and think about the anxiety just a little differently – instead of saying to yourself: “I just need to decide”, “I just need to go for it”

Say to yourself- “I’m not going to decide” “ I am choosing to listen more closely to what my indecision is telling me”

Doing this will turn down the noise of anxiety that comes with indecision. When you turn this down then you can actually look deeper into why you are ambivalent and that in turn may help you make a decision.

Ambivalence is not a bad thing- it can be the sign of a deeply thoughtful and mindful and smart person.


#indecision #existential #emotions #life #choices