In college, we used to have a saying. Anytime something ‘bad’ happened we’d just say ‘stories’. If we went to the ‘wrong’ party and it totally sucked, if one of our beater cars broke down on the way to target and we had to hitch a ride, if we went on a really bad date. Our response was always ‘stories’.
In other words, when things didn’t go how we wanted them to go or how we thought they should go, at the end of the day, we’d at least get a really good story out of it.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently when it comes to decisions. How in our mind we vacillate on decisions, obsessed with making the ‘right’ choice.
But what if there are NO right or wrong decisions, just stories waiting to be created?
I don’t consider myself a very indecisive person on the whole but life…. Oh man the sheer number of decisions we have to make is unbelievable. Add in kids and a house and a business. I’m making decisions like it’s my j-o-b. And we all know that we get paralyzed with decision fatigue.
But I’ve been working on it on a whole other level. Because for me it’s not just decision fatigue its AVOIDING making decisions. As in how much ENERGY do we waste punting decisions to the future? In the past I’ve had a whole list of things I haven’t made a decision on and they move from one week’s to-do list to the next, NEVER actually making progress on it.
And there is a price to this. In the back of my mind, there is a running energy meter of all the decisions I’ve yet to make.
Of course, there are the big decisions, quitting your job, going back to school, starting a new career, getting married, moving etc etc. And yes, those may take more time (but I still think one kind of KNOWS what to do if they really listen).
But day to day, the decisions we make, or rather REFUSE to make in my opinion are the ones that suck our energy.
Part of my journey is working on myself so that I TRUST my initial decision. I realize that making freaking decisions is truly a super power and one that can be honed and sharpened.
If I look back, I realize very often the ‘right’ decision was the one I made immediately, even for the BIG decisions. Maybe ESPECIALLY for the big decisions.
But I also am working on letting go of that idea that there is a right or wrong decision. After all, they are all stories, the twists and turns that make up an interesting life. How boring would we be if things always worked out how we wanted them too? Seriously.
I see this a lot with my clients, unsure whether to take a step forward to being a mindset coach. And here’s the thing I tell them; you can NEVER really 100% know if something is the ‘right’ decision for you. You can TRUST yourself that you are MAKING a decision and THAT is where the power lies. You can decide to become a mindset coach and make that work for you. You can decide to NOT become a mindset coach and make THAT work for you. The energy suck lies in the in between, the failing to actually decide one way or another.
Because here is what I also know. When I CHOOSE to do something or NOT do something, I feel so much better about it. If I choose to go to a party or not, a new restaurant or the old one, to invest in a Facebook Ads person or not. A psychologist would call this confirmation bias; once I make a decision I then find all the reasons I’m right. But who cares why I feel good and powerful? Isn’t that the whole point? Because when I CHOOSE yes or no, what I’m really choosing is to be the driver of my life rather than the passenger.
I also know this- we often weigh the pros and cons BEFORE the decision and I think that’s wrong. Here is why- confirmation bias can work in our favor if we take the path we really want because then we find a way. But if we take too long to decide, we then take our powerful mind and direct it towards finding the barriers to the thing we really want and turn off the creative part that would find a way.
We worry about the HOW way too much.
I see this all the time with my trainings. ‘Lindsey, I want to do ____ but I can’t afford it.’ How about assume you can afford it, listen to your gut and say yes (if it’s what you want) and THEN let your very powerful and creative mind FIND THE WAY to pay for it.
But living in the in-between is a recipe for energy depletion and a sense of not trusting yourself on a deep, intuitive level.
So here is what I’m doing:
I’m making it rain with decisions. I’m crossing them off my list left and right. FOMO? No mo. I’m not worried about the ‘right’ decision or ‘wrong’ decision. And if I need time to think (nothing wrong with that) I set aside time to make the decision. I do not, however, and I repeat DO NOT live in the in between of making the decision someday.
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