Are you having trouble knowing what to do in an important area of your life? Chances are you are up against one of life's catch 22 situations.Discovering the perfect solution can be as easy as looking for the 3rd option.
Every humans' brain has developed a simple but powerful pattern that keeps us from the situations that would naturally bring us the most happiness and when we notice it, we have the chance to let this pattern work for us and not against us.
The pattern sets up the belief that we can't feel safe unless we agree to keep believing we are not enough to feel happy. I know it sounds crazy but it's actually what happens.
We also then develop a second part of our identity that believes in this first pattern (that we're not enough to feel happy) but that wishes it weren't true and feels that you have to prove that it's not true by making some change in your life situation. This second part of your identity believes that making this change will prove to yourself and to the world that you are enough to feel happy and then it thinks this change will allow you to feel happy forever.
What this second part of our identity usually fails to realize is that even if you do change your life situation and you do feel happy because of it, situations are always changing - often times beyond our ability to influence - so any change you make to your life situation could change again at any moment.
You've probably experienced many times in your life when you've had a great thing happen in your life situation and you suddenly felt so much better about yourself, but at some point after that, you started to worry about the situation changing and suddenly you were right back to not feeling as good.
This happened because you still had the underlying pattern operating that was telling you you can't feel safe unless you agree to believe you are not enough to feel happy. So the second part of your identity that for a time was feeling it had proven that theory wrong by having your life situation change, now has begun to worry that if the "proof" that you are enough to feel happy (your life situation) changes then so does your enoughness. It believes that your life situation changing will actually prove the first pattern true: that you are in fact not enough to feel happy.
So when we're facing a choice that seems hard to make, it is one where we feel we're choosing between felling safe OR feeling happy. We think we can have one feeling but not the other.
With one choice we think we'll feel safe because we won't trigger the agreement that we made with ourselves to believe we aren't enough to feel happy in order for us to feel safe. With the other choice we feel we have a chance to prove the first pattern wrong and actually feel happy if we are willing to feel safe enough to go for it.
So it's a catch 22 situation because really who wants to give up feeling safe or feeling happy. Literally no one ever.
So what usually happens is we make a choice from these two apparent options and live with either a feeling of safety and regret or the feeling of more happiness and worry (that it won't last).
The good news is that in reality there is no rule that says we are not enough to feel both safe and happy at the same time. We can feel both safe and happy by seeing beyond the pattern itself and discovering the 3rd option. The 3rd option is the situation that will naturally allow you to feel equally safe and happy (if you allow it to without falling back into believing your old pattern). This option can be completely invisible to us if we are stuck in the pattern that says we can't feel safe unless we agree to believe we aren't enough to feel happy but it can become super clear if we let ourselves look for it.
A way to discover the 3rd option is to only choose options where you equally feel safe and happy at the same time. If you don't see an option that feels that way, if a decision doesn't need to be made immediately (because someone's life depends on it) which is the case for most decisions, simply waiting with the awareness that a 3rd option exists and will show up can allow you to discover it. The more you do this the better you get at it and the easier discovering the 3rd options can be.