Episode 122: What the internet has to do with indecision

When you Google something, does that actually help you move forward?

Or does it keep you stuck?


Resources & References

Related episodes & posts:
2 strategies to break the cycle of indecision
Indecision & assumptions about life
The moment you’re faced with uncertainty
Do you trust yourself? Here are three ways to tell


“I’ve just asked the internet to make the most important and personal decision of my life. Why do I trust everyone else on Earth more than I trust myself?”

—Glennon Doyle Melton, Untamed


Aili Kuutan: When you Google something, does that actually help you move forward? Or does it keep you stuck?

Aili Kuutan: You're listening to pure light where we explore how you can believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. My name is Aili. I'm a coach writer and yoga meditation teacher. This is episode 122.

Aili Kuutan: I've talked a lot about indecision and uncertainty in past episodes. And something happened the other day that made me reflect on how we can unintentionally kind of stay stuck in a state of indecision by contributing to it unintentionally.

Aili Kuutan: Last week I was talking to my mom and she was telling me about how she wanted to wash her duvet. So she Googled how to wash a silk duvet and the stuff that came up about how to do that was all over the place. One article said you should wash it and then dry it and make sure you don't put it in the sun. Another article said you shouldn't wash it, you should just air it out by putting it into the sun. So that was just two articles that totally conflicted with each other, and there were many, many more.

Aili Kuutan: And then about half an hour later, I was talking to my sister and she basically told me the same story, but for a different thing, actually, there were two things, but I can only remember one of them right now. So one of the things that she had looked into was getting bushes that attract butterflies and bees for her yard. And some of the places that sell bushes were selling one that claimed to attract butterflies and bees. But then when she did more research, she discovered that those bushes don't actually do that in Toronto. I think they do in other areas, but here that it isn't the right type of pollen or something. So she found a whole bunch of information that was all saying different things, and that was also full of conflicting opinions.

Aili Kuutan: So within the span of about half an hour, I had three different examples of how looking for answers on the internet can be totally overwhelming and confusing because everyone has a different opinion on the best way to do something or how things should be done.

Aili Kuutan: Another great example of where there are conflicting opinions is in the diet industry. There are so many different opinions and often with some kind of supporting research that suggests that this is the best way to eat. So if you're looking to change your diet, it can be totally overwhelming and hard to even get started when you're drowning in that kind of information. And the same is true for anything that you're researching online.

Aili Kuutan: When you look for information on the internet, it can contribute to indecision. We often think it's going to help, but the truth is that often it makes it harder to decide because there are so many conflicting opinions. If you want to minimize indecision, you may be better off not asking the internet for advice.

Aili Kuutan: And here's another example. In Untamed, Glennon Doyle Melton talks about Googling, "What should I do if my husband is a cheater, but also an amazing dad?" And she goes on to say, "I've just asked the to make the most important and personal decision of my life. Why do I trust everyone else on earth more than I trust myself?" She also said, distressingly, everyone thought I should do something different. So she found a ton of conflicting advice about whether or not to leave her husband.

Aili Kuutan: There will always be different opinions about how to approach things. Everyone's opinions are going to be informed by their worldview and their personal experience. And what happens when you get all those ideas in your head is that you end up in your head trying to analyze and assess and justify and figure out which idea is the best. And that's when you get into potentially telling yourself, "this is what I should do," instead of trusting your experience and your intuition and your gut. So in a way, asking the internet can be a way of perpetuating indecision.

Aili Kuutan: But the thing to remember here is that in your life, the opinion that matters the most is your own. Other people's opinions only matter to the extent that you adopt their ideas and defer to their advice. And it's important to remember that when you do that, you give them your power. Only you can choose your path. Only you know, what's best for you. And I realize there's a huge difference between asking the internet about how to wash a duvet versus asking whether or not you should leave your husband, because one might ruin your bedding and the other will have implications to your closest personal relationships for the rest of your life. But it's important to remember that every time we do something, it becomes easier to create a pattern of doing it again. So if Googling something is the thing that you do whenever you don't know what to do, it can become a habit, not just for the little things, but for the big things too.

Aili Kuutan: And that being said, of course, there will be times when you really need some information and you can't move forward without it. So if you want to minimize the possibility of getting stuck and contributing to being in a state of indecision, the next time you want to ask the internet for advice, ask yourself, do I really need more information? Like, is there something missing that I really need in order to move forward? Or is this potentially going to contribute to overwhelm and to me staying stuck in a stalling pattern and in a state of indecision? Trust the answers that come up.

Aili Kuutan: You are your own highest authority, and you can prove it to yourself by acting accordingly. If you know someone who needs to hear this, please share it with them.

Aili Kuutan: Thanks so much for listening until next time, may you be guided by your light.

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