In the moment of feeling stuck between fear of making the wrong decision and confusion over which is the right decision – a lot of fantastic life opportunities can pass you by.
To borrow the concept of a C.S. Lewis quote:
Making a decision
To put it bluntly, getting stuck on trying to make the ‘right’ decision (or on trying to avoid the wrong the decision) is either about: 1) looking for validation outside of yourself, or 2) not spending enough time with yourself to know what it is you want (which can be the reason you look to others for the answer). Either way, at the end of the day, you’ve gotta do what’s right for you. It’s your life, not someone else’s. If you don’t know what’s right for you, then maybe it’s time to do some soul searching and personal research? (Tip: personal research isn’t about doing a survey of your family and friends about what they think is right for you – that’s just another form of looking for external validation). Get to know yourself so you know what’s right for you, and find the courage to act on it.
Let’s follow through on the concept of making the wrong decision – after all, that’s what’s got you stuck, right? The ‘what ifs’. So, what if you make a decision and you don’t like the outcome? Well, my perspective is you call it experience, and then make a different decision. (And if you don’t like that outcome, call it experience, and make a different decision). More decisions made equals more experience gained and a closer step to the right decision (i.e. the right one for you!). Sometimes you need to make a few ‘wrong’ decisions, to know what the right one is. But if you don’t make the first step, you’ll never know...right?
It’s all about the contrast of what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ for you, and that’s how you get to know yourself and what you really want. But if you just live with the decision that’s making you unhappy and don’t explore the contrast to find out what you really want instead, then you’ve learned nothing about yourself and will continue to be unhappy. At the end of the day, that’s your choice. But you can also choose to do something about it!
Here are some ideas to help you move towards making a decision:
Day dream ideas and options for finding your way forward from your current situation. Day dreaming allows you to come up with ideas that the logic brain may dismiss as ‘impossible’ at first glance. Be bold and crazy with your ideas. Out of the ‘crazy’ the ‘very possible and perfect’ idea can emerge. Coming up with ideas and options isn’t making a set decision. They are just options. Day dreaming helps you to think outside the square. Don’t be held in by what you think you ‘should’ do, or what you think other people might think. What, in your wildest dreams, could be possible?
Once you have options, research them. Write a list of pros and cons. Talk over your ideas with someone who is open to thinking outside the box and who isn’t tied to the outcome (that is, they have your interests at heart, and won’t get hung up on the ‘shoulds’ and won’t hold you back on how they think you ‘should’ behave). Spend some time reflecting on your options and listen to your heart. What feels right? What’s right for you?
Sometimes it may seem like you have no options at all. If this is the case, don’t force it, just wait and let life go on. Maybe you still need to transition. Maybe the dust is still settling around the change. Maybe the ‘right’ option hasn’t yet made itself known. Just wait, and remain open to opportunities.
What decision do you need to make? Which forward direction feels ‘right’ for you?
Gather up your courage – and do it!
Have a great week!
Life experience has taught me a lot about change - its messiness and my desire to circumnavigate it in a more efficient way. In this blog I share my experience so you too can survive change with a smile on your face!