Show Notes

Episode 81: Ambivalence

Sometimes when you can’t get started on something or you’re dragging your feet making a decision, ambivalence is the culprit. It can be sneaky, lurking in the background without your even realizing it. In this episode, Janine and Shannon discuss ambivalence and provide some guidance on clearing it up, so you can make more conscious decisions. (Because not making a decision is actually making a decision.)

Discussion topics include:

  • Our relief over NaNoWriMo being over and what we’ll do with our time
  • The ambivalence we felt about the novels we wrote in November
  • The dictionary definition of ambivalence
  • The ambivalence Shannon used to feel about her goal of walking the Camino de Santiago
  • How you can feel ambivalent without even realizing it
  • A clue that you’re feeling ambivalent: You use the phrase, “On the one hand…”
  • One way to clear up ambivalence: Dig into the positive intention of each side
  • Shannon’s Boring Change tool (see link), which can help you discover underlying ambivalence
  • Questions to ask yourself when clearing up ambivalence
  • How Janine is going to apply this during her annual winter goal-setting retreat
  • How you’re making a decision when you don’t make a decision
  • The relief of making a decision, even if it’s “no, for now,” rather than living with ambivalence
  • The fact that “maybe” is a “no” until it’s a “yes.”
  • Another clue that you’re feeling ambivalent: You’re trying to talk yourself into doing something
  • Clearing the ambivalence so you can make a decision from a conscious place
  • The importance of knowing what’s important to you in getting to the bottom of ambivalence
  • Shannon’s verbing of the noun “surface”
  • How identifying ambivalence takes away its power


2 thoughts on “Episode 81: Ambivalence”

  1. I think of ambivalence as sort of the Pushmi-Pullyu llama from Dr. Doolittle’s world. On the one hand, you want to do something; on the other hand, you don’t. I run into this a lot with family obligations, especially right now during the holidays. I am very ambivalent about seeing them because they can be rather toxic. I just try to focus on how much I loved them when we were young and not the people they have become. Heh, they probably do the same with me!

    1. That’s such a great way to think of it, Christy. And also, recognizing what’s reasonable to tolerate and still take care of yourself.

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