Consider whether or not you will be able to look proudly into the mirror the next day. -Marcia Jones
Life is one big storybook. An unwritten storybook. I say it's unwritten because every single day we’re faced with multiple choices. Your book is written off of those choices. Whatever sentence you write dictates the chapter you end up on.
Most of the decisions we make are singularly important, such as choices of career or life-partners, some not so life-altering, such as what to eat or wear that day. Each time we make a decision, we are discovering more about ourselves.
I believe that every decision has consequences, either good or bad and we are responsible for the results of our actions, and for our inaction too. I’m the kind of person that can find it incredibly difficult to make a decision. I become paralyzed with fear. I literally won’t make a decision. I stall. I ask everyone around me for advice, and then over analyze that advice and realize no one actually knows what I want. How could they if I don’t even know what I want? My greatest fear is that I’m going to make the wrong decision and end up with a barrel of regret.
Sooner or later though, I take a deep breath, make a pros and cons list, stare at the pros and cons list, flip a coin, cry, talk to my mom, make another pros and cons list, talk to my mom some more, and then…stall for a little while longer.
Being an over-thinker like me can get you into more than a little bit of trouble. Often I end up in a perpetual loop of considering the different outcomes of my situation and never actually making a choice. Obviously this is a huge problem. When I overthink like this a lot of unnecessary delay happens. When I should be moving forward with my life and taking the next step with confidence, I fail to act at all for fear I’ll make the wrong decision.
I tend to continue seeking more information on the outcomes of choice A or B even though it's pretty clear that in doing so there is not much more evidence that I’ll find to inform my choice. Or I’ll look into the future, imagining alternate states trying to decipher which one I’ll be happy with.
But the more I pondered my choice the more I began to realize it’s all about my mindset. I read this quote by Ruth Chang.
“Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.”
You are the distinctive person you are because of the decisions you make. That fact should empower, not intimidate you.
Make tough decisions. Don’t muddle in indecision, put in the effort to make an informed decision. Then take ownership of that decision. It's better to be in control of the decisions you’re making rather than wait around for the world to make them for you.