I don’t know why I always concerned myself with the opinions, approval, or objectivity of others...or why it mattered so much. I mean, I knew they were not going to be the ones to live my life and experience the consequences of the choices that I made...but I always felt so...unsure, incapable, indecisive. What should I wear to the party? I want to buy this for the house, what do you think? I am thinking about taking a break, should I? Do you think…?
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
These were all questions that came to my mind whenever I needed to make a decision. Then, after making the decision, I would find myself faltering...maybe I should have tried…; what if I…; I wish…; If only I…
This feeling was so frustrating. My anxiety wasn't enough. I had to overthink EVERYTHING. As if the weight of the world depended on my one decision. Should I accept the job or should I stay put? BAM! Wrong decision, total catastrophe! RIGHT!?
It wasn’t until recently when I came face to face with this alter-ego demon of mine. I was doing some work around NLP-Neuro-linguistic programming. This is an approach we use when working with others and ourselves to challenge negative patterns, behaviors, or thoughts. Super powerful; like...um, where were you all of my LIFE?!
Back to the topic. Indecisiveness stems from our inner conflict and internal bidding that we tell ourselves, whatever that may be. These back-and-forth conversations we have with ourselves become a burden and we find ourselves spending time pondering on it, weighing the pros and cons, and playing the outcomes out in our heads over and over.
If that is annoying enough, we also know what needs to be done and how to do it, but we also fear the consequences of such decisions. Perhaps we fear that we have to be the ones to PAY the PIPER. But isn’t that what happens regardless of how it plays out, since, again, it is OUR life.
So, it brings me here...what do we do about it? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not here to give you advice to change your outcome or to contribute to your decision making fears. I want to offer help, the same help that I myself have put into play in my own life.
First is first, challenge yourself to make the decision FOR YOURSELF. You are the only one that will have to follow through to the end. As I mentioned before, this is YOUR life. You know yourself, your needs, your wishes, emotions, thoughts, hopes and dreams...yadda yadda...better than anyone else does. Take action for you, and be in the peace that you made that choice for yourself. It is okay.
If that isn’t sufficient, create a decision matrix (check out ours here), or write it out. This is something I do when I need to make large decisions for my life; buying a new home, moving to a new job or career, leaving an old relationship, or starting a new investment. Write it out. Use this as a way to think through the scenario, and once you have made the decision...STICK TO IT! No matter the results, you are probably going to make the choice that is best for you so challenge yourself not to doubt your commitment. Again, my friend, it is okay.
The last thing I have to offer you is relative to your emotions. Challenge yourself not to be so deeply involved with the situation that you are letting it stay in your head all day. Take the action you feel is best, and DON’T CARRY REGRET. If the circumstances don’t result in the way that you expect, invite the opportunity to learn from the experience and to move forward.
We make multiple decisions everyday; from what to wear, what to do, who to interact with, or how to engage. It is usually the more drastic, life changing decisions that get us caught up in the web of doubt, worry, anxiety, or over-thinking behaviors. Although these seem daunting in the moment, in the span of life, they are based on our current state of being. They are temporary to the time. If we embrace decision making as an opportunity to just experience life and what is brought to us, practice connecting with ourselves and focusing on what it is WE want-not others, and allowing ourselves to make mistakes, we may discover a different way of thinking about decisions and even life itself.
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