I found an incredible deal for a TV, bought it, and then returned it because it had a crack in it. While waiting to hear back from the company, I started to second-guess my buying decision. I went to Best Buy and looked at 50 other TVs, read their little tags, talked to an overzealous sales guy, and stayed up late researching reviews and technical specs online.
By the end of the week, I’d circled back to my original TV, the one I wanted most, the one I had already researched to death and settled on several weeks prior.
“Too bad you wasted another week on it,” someone commented.
Not at all. I just needed to remind myself of what’s out there in order to recognize that what I have is exactly what I need.
I see this a lot with career-counseling clients. Over time, jobs and routines lose their flavor (or more specifically, we lose our ability to taste their flavor), which makes it easy to forget how our jobs are nourishing us.
A few days (or months!) of circling doubt is sometimes what it takes to reach peace of mind in the long run.
And realize that when you’re shopping for TVs or pondering a career move you’re not walking in a circle; you’re climbing a spiral staircase. You may pass the same places in your journey but, because time is a teacher and you’re stacking up insights, you’re a bit higher up than you were the first time around.