Every decision we make could be the pivotal one that could change the course of our lives. From the small decisions like what we have for breakfast or the clothes, we buy to the big decisions like what career we pursue and the partner we choose, and every decision in between affects our quality of life. Making decisions, especially in this age of vast choices, is often a painful and challenging process. We worry about the outcome and are fearful of the unknown. We wonder if this is the “best” choice and often hold out for that “perfect” choice for so long, that we wind up staying exactly where we are, in limbo.
As many of you know, one example of a big decision in my life was my choice to move to North Carolina. The initial decision to move was easy since my husband and I knew we wanted a better quality of life. The next decision was where to move. That took longer as we identified what “better quality of life” meant to us. That decision was followed by many smaller decisions such as which places to visit when to put our house up for sale, which realtor to use when to tell our employers we were leaving, which specific community we wanted to live in, and the list goes on. Was the process easy? Not always. Was it painful? Sometimes it was. So what kept us going? Our desire was strong; we knew what we wanted and most importantly, why we wanted it!
Making decisions, big and small, is like exercising. Our “decision muscles” develop by consistent movement on an ongoing basis. The more decisions we make, the greater our confidence in making them, and the quicker we make them.
What big and small decisions have affected your life the most?
What happens when we don’t make a decision? We sit on the fence between where we are and where we want to be. Though sitting on the fence is still a decision, it is one of the few that brings inertia instead of action. When we avoid making a decision, we feel stuck or in limbo. The idea of having to make the decision often consumes our thoughts and adds stress to our days. We often feel anger toward our current situation since we know we don’t want it anymore, but we are still there. I certainly experience those feelings when I am on the fence. Once I get off, a sense of lightness comes over me – and the funny thing is, it does not matter which side of the fence I got off on. Just the act of deciding freed my mind. Does this sound familiar? What would happen if either side of the fence – either choice was “right”?
When have you been on the fence about a decision? How has it affected you?
Cathy is a client of mine who came to me because she wanted help with building her business to complete the picture of her ideal life. You see several years ago she retired from a long career and moved to NC to finally live the lifestyle she had been longing for. She immediately achieved many pieces of it – a beautiful townhome in a great community of like-minded women with a plethora of activities to keep her busy and having fun. What was missing was the financial and time freedom she wanted so she got involved with a travel company she believed in and became an agent.
She was excited about the business model and the benefits she would get immediately in the form of discounted travel. But soon she got stuck and wound up on the fence, teetering between two lives. One one side of the fence was the life she had been living these last few years working in a part-time job she enjoyed, but financially she was not where she wanted to be. On the other side of the fence was the potential for financial freedom, but fear was keeping her stuck. You see, she was uncomfortable talking about her business when she met new people for fear of “bothering them”.
After talking it through, she realized two important things: that sitting on the fence was causing greater stress than the fear of jumping fully into her business; and that this business could be a blessing to others (instead of a bother) to be offered an opportunity to live a lifestyle they desire. To get off the fence, Cathy had to make a decision once and for all. To do that, she revisited her vision of the lifestyle she wanted and it became clear that she would forever regret not going after her dream of financial freedom – and so she chose! Now, Cathy is fully committed to building her business and going after the lifestyle she knows is possible for her – and she is becoming a model to her potential clients of what is possible when we commit to something we believe in – ourselves!
What is one of your success stories?
How do we best make decisions? Focus on your values, what matters most to you in life. For me one value was beautiful surroundings, for Cathy it was financial freedom. These values served as our “why” as we were making our decisions. Seek to feel great. For most of us, being on the fence does not feel good. We may experience frustration, stuck-ness, boredom, or fear. Once we choose, we experience a weight lifted that is so freeing. All decisions can have good outcomes, it all depends on how you look at them. Follow your instincts. Pay attention to your gut reactions, that deeper knowing that we all have but often ignore. Give yourself a deadline. Determine by when you will decide, no matter what. For me, I gave myself a deadline of spring to give me enough time to sell my house and move before a new semester started at the university I worked. Let go of “perfect”. When we hold out for that “perfect” choice, we wind up staying in the same place, often for years! Define your “best” and go for it! Learn more about Baton Rouge chain link fencing and Baton Rouge wood fencing.