I used to be afraid, I was petrified! Kept thinking I would never live…oh wait, whoops. Sorry I love that song. Anyway, not too long ago, I was so afraid of making the wrong decision that I suffered from analysis paralysis.
Instead of making a decision and putting my time and energy on what I needed to do, I put all of my energy into worrying. I used all of my energy worrying about if I was going to fail. I was so afraid to fail that I did nothing. (This was in my younger years)
After a few extremely challenging times in my life, here’s what I’ve learned.
Any decision you make that is based on fear, is driven by the wrong motives and is less likely to give you the desired outcome.
If you find yourself having a hard time making a decision, chances are you’re spending too much time worrying about what might happen if you make the wrong decision. You worry about what will happen if you fail. Your focus should be on the desired outcome and the changes that you need to make in order to achieve that outcome.
Are you afraid to break up with him or her because you’re afraid to be alone? Are you afraid to break it off because it will sting a bit when you see them dating other people? These are fear-based decisions. Fear based decisions don’t work. You will end up staying with this person and still be unhappy.
Are you afraid to break it off with someone because they know something about you that you’re not proud of, and you’re afraid nobody else will accept you?
Are you afraid to make a decision because you think it could be the wrong one? As a result, you do nothing? Nothing changes.
These are fear based decisions. Doing nothing is actually a decision. You’ve decided to do nothing.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We forget to listen to our gut, or we ignore that gut instinct.
We’re so unbelievably distracted by technology, and other sources of instant gratification, that we can’t hear our gut anymore. It screams at us loud and clear but we still don’t hear it. We’re too distracted. In fact, some of us make ourselves physically ill because we’re ignoring our gut. If you find yourself worrying yourself sick over something, it’s time to do something about it.
This is your gut screaming at you. Your gut is telling you, NO! STOP. Make a change. The funny thing is that you know this. Unfortunately, many of use choose to ignore it because we’re afraid of the results. Again, fear based decisions. People always tell me that I have a good gut instinct. I actually think that most of us do. The difference is that I choose to listen to my gut. I trust my gut and I don’t ignore it. If you feel it in your gut, it’s valid.
You have to unplug. You have to go outside. Yes, enjoy that bright yellow thing in the sky. You remember right, the sun? Enjoy those brown tall things outside your window that have those green things hanging on them. You know, trees? Nature?
We can’t hear our gut anymore because we have little to no moments of silence. We have little to no moments of contemplation. We simply react because that is our culture now. We’re a technology driven society that has grown accustomed to instant information. We need something, we google it. We want something, we hop on Amazon Prime and BOOM two-days later it arrives.
We don’t have to sit around and wait anymore. Pretty much anything we need, including entertainment is within our reach in moments. We’re too distracted. We can’t hear our gut and therefore we can’t focus. We can’t make decisions. We don’t self-reflect or contemplate.
Here’s my suggestion. It’s a super simple one and extremely effective.
I don’t care what it is that you’re facing. If you’re struggling with anything, do this.
Take a long walk outside and be alone. Go alone. Get some time by yourself in your own head. Go for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Now, don’t entertain the fears. Don’t entertain the negative scary thoughts. You have think about the positive results that will happen as a result of your decision.
Then you have to make a decision.
Here’s the deal. It may not be the correct decision. Yes, you may make a bad decision. So what? Take the information and learn from it. Next time, you will have a better idea of what to do. Next time your decisions will be educated. You will have some references. You need to have references to learn. You need to make mistakes to have references. You have to make a decision. The more references you have, the better decisions you will make. Period.
Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
The only time you should feel bad about making a decision, is if that decision knowingly hurts another person. (This does not apply if you’re being treated unkindly by someone and choose to leave that person. That is self-preservation). I’m talking about a decision that you make that has an ugly motive behind it. It’s about your motives not your fears. If your motives are innocent, then do it. If you’re coming from a good place, then do it! If it’s going to make you a happier person and remove stress from your life, then just do it already!
Maybe you want to quit your job but you’re afraid to tell your spouse? Why do you want to quit your job? Are you miserable? Is it affecting your life? Is it affecting your happiness and ultimately the important relationships you have? These are good motives.
Do you want to quit because you’re tired and want your spouse to take care of you? Are you feeling resentful that you have to work so much and your spouse doesn’t? These are not good motives.
The point is, you have to make a decision. Stand by it, and give it a shot. There really is only one way to find out. There’s a lot of power that comes from simply making a decision and seeing it through to the end. It may not be the best decision. Maybe, it didn’t work like you thought it would? Maybe the outcome wasn’t at all what you imagined.
The thing is, most of the time, the outcome isn’t exactly as we envisioned it. In fact, if you stick to your plan and make a decision, the outcome is often more desirable then what we imagined. It ends up being more desirable because most of us don’t think that big. Most of us don’t go for the gold.
Most of us play it a little safe.
That’s okay, because once you stick to your plan and make a decision, it kind of doesn’t matter. Taking action will bring results. Period. Positive action will yield positive results. Plus, you will feel awesome and empowered simply for the fact that you made a decision and you saw it through to the end. It’s a great feeling and by then you don’t really pay much attention to the details. You will simply know that you are either one step closer to your goals, or you’ve achieved your goal.
There’s no such thing as failure.
I remember my very first interview right out of college. I was living in Boston, Massachusetts at the time. I needed a job and I needed health insurance stat! My soon-to-be-boss asked me a genius question. He asked me…
“How to do you handle failure?” He said, “if you attempt to do something and it doesn’t work out the way you planned, what do you do?”
I remember I sat there quietly for a minute. I really needed this job and I needed to make sure that I gave a great answer.
Here was my answer.
“I don’t know how to fail. I don’t know how to fail, because even if it doesn’t turn out how I planned, I still learn something. I take what I learned and I apply that and it usually works out in the end. My outcome may not be the one that I was working towards, but generally it ends up still being a positive one.”
Whew! He really liked that answer lol. I got the job!
It’s still something I think about to this day. I don’t give up on anything that’s important to me. I never tell myself that I can’t do something that is really important to me. I never tell myself that I’m not worthy of whatever it is that I want. I know my value. Do you know your value? I know my value not because I’m conceited. I know my value, because I’ve proven to myself time and time again, that I’m not a quitter. I don’t give up.
I’ve learned the value of delayed gratification, and I know that I will see results, eventually.
If you do the work something positive will come out of it. I don’t know what, but I know that if I work hard and make a decision that something good is going to happen. If I do nothing because I’m afraid, then nothing will happen. Nothing will change.
That is scarier to me.
I’ve had many hardships in my life. I’ve been lucky to have the support and love of two wonderful parents. They were always my cheerleaders no matter what. I know some people might think that’s why I’ve been successful at things in my life. That I’m lucky. I couldn’t disagree more. Luck had nothing to do with it. In fact, I hate it when people say I’m lucky. It kind of pisses me off lol. It makes me mad because everything that I have, I’ve worked hard for.
I did the work. Period.
Our only hurdle is ourselves. You really can do almost anything that you want to do.
You have to believe in the power of making a decision.
Make a decision. Stick to it and you will see results. Period.
Don’t quit when things get tough. Don’t second guess yourself, when you feel a little insecure. Forge ahead. Know that your intentions are good.
You are good. You deserve to see the changes that you want in your life.
Only you can make that happen.
I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself? You should.
P.S. There’s a book I recommend called “The Power of Decision.” It’s such a great book. It’s pretty short and super powerful. I hope you read it. Unfortunately, you can’t get it on Amazon Prime in as little as 2-days and will have to wait maybe a week. Oh no! LOL 😉
Did you know that you’re mental strength is the driving factor in the overall success of your life. Are you resilient?
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