Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Whether you're endlessly agonizing over an issue, be it to break up with your partner, take a new job, move to a new town, rent an apartment, or selecting a new doctor, it's a tough place to hang out. Maybe this, maybe that. You're incapable of making up your mind and feel confused, stuck, indecisive, or ambivalent.

There is a Way to Bring Clarity

It's easy to get down on yourself for not being clear. Maybe you stay in untenable situations long beyond what's sensible. Your quandary occupies you and compromises your ability to enjoy the present moment.

Know that it's your fear that's keeping you stuck. The doubt, worry, and agitation that accompanies your inaction is a sure sign that it would be helpful to do some shivering to move that fear energy out of your body.

Regardless of whether you shiver to reduce your fear or not, there are several tactics to get clear. You can consult your pendulum, ask everyone you meet for their opinion, do nothing, or write a list of pros and cons. When none of these strategies work, you can do something different: sift your priorities. The Priority Sifter brings a unique perspective to any situation. 

The Priority Sifter

The priority sifter helps you get in touch with what's true for you and what to do about a specific situation. It integrates your heart and head and offers a unique perspective.

innerself subscribe graphic

How To Use The Priority Sifter:

Start by writing out a list of ideal qualities you'd like in a person or thing if you could have it all. They don't have to be in order of importance. Come up with at least 30 items. 

* When you are finished with your qualities, in the "Rating #1" column, rate the person or situation on each quality:

  • assign a "1" if they/it has that quality
  • "0" if they don't, and
  • "½" if they have it somewhat.

* When you are finished add up your total.

* Now divide that total by the number of ideal qualities and you will come up with a fraction. Turn that number into a percentage by moving the decimal two places to the right.

For example, let's say your total is 21 and you have 30 items. When you divide 21 by 30, you get .7, or 70%. 

(You can use "Rating #2 and #3 to rate previous or other loves, apartments, jobs, etc. to see where they stack up in terms of your ideal.)

priority sifter
The Priority Sifter

Determine what percent you require to honor yourself, and compare it to the percentage you just came up with. Remember in a school exam, 90% and above is an A, 80% a B, 70% a C, 60% a D, and below that an F.

In the example above, 70%, this is a "C." The question is, "Are you willing to settle for a "C"?

Check your results with your intuition. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that it confirms what you already know deep down. As a note, I'd be cautious about green lighting something that got a score in the 60s or lower.

The important thing about the "Sifter" is that you realize that he, she, they, it, are just fine the way they are. This tool just offers perspective for you to see what is true for you in your life.

Hold Tight and Reap the Rewards

When the Sifter makes clear the direction to take, repeat your conclusion out loud. For example, say "I'm going to commit to Tom" and express any emotions that arise.

Then you must accept the qualities that he/she/it has that you don't like, such as "Tom smokes cigarettes. Tom is allergic to dogs, Tom doesn't like my taste in music." Keep your focus on your similarities. In the areas of differences, talk about them and together find workable solutions that honor you both.

If you find your subject does not meet your percentage, you can look at all those "1"s and realize they are what attract you to the person or situation. But keep in mind, they are not enough to override what is lacking. It might help you to do a ritual to mourn that which was good, cry, and say "Good-bye."

Hold tight to what the sifter and your intuition tell you. Remember the clarity you felt at that moment you made your firm decision. Don't dwell on doubts. Accept the reality, stop dwelling on the past, and move forward relishing the present moment and your new possibilities. 

At first you might not like what the Priority Sifter reveals Taking action and doing some hard things to get out of a stuck place, means relinquishing control over what you think you want. Frequently what you know within takes you out of your comfort zone and you feel fear as a result. Follow through and align your actions with what you've determined by taking the Sifter and your intuition and you will be served over the long-haul.

Stop selling yourself short. Sometimes it's hard to let go, but it's worth it in terms of your happiness. 

©2023 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author: Attitude Reconstruction

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.

book cover: Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life  by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.With practical tools and real-life examples, this book can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with joy, love, and peace. Jude Bijou's comprehensive blueprint will teach you to: ? cope with family members' unsolicited advice, cure indecision with your intuition, deal with fear by expressing it physically, create closeness by truly talking and listening, improve your social life, increase staff morale in just five minutes a day, handle sarcasm by visualizing it flying by, carve out more time for yourself by clarifying your priorities, ask for a raise and get it, stop fighting via two easy steps, cure kids' tantrums constructively. You can integrate Attitude Reconstruction into your daily routine, regardless of your spiritual path, cultural background, age, or education.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of: Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT)

Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education.

Visit her website at