22 Nov The Right Decision? Fooey!

Have you ever been faced with a decision, and found yourself ruminating on the idea, “What is the right thing to do?

I used to stress over almost every decision when I focused on this thought.

This isn’t the thought of a peaceful mind, it’s the thought of a fearful one, and just this perspective alone, shows that the thinker has a distorted view of the world (which I had had for many decades).

“Should I let my 14 year old daughter get the HPV virus?”, “Should I leave him?”, “Should I give up my job to care for my dying father?” are all decisions faced by people close to me during recent weeks.  These are the biggies of life, and it is completely normal to feel stressed when pondering these life-changing choices.

If you are thinking, “What is the right thing to do?”, your mind is already in a polarized, or black and white state.  This tells you that it has distorted the situation.  There is NEVER one right thing to do.  The easiest example would be the couple faced with staying together or breaking up.  At first glance, there are two choices, but when you go deeper into the possibilities, you could see the following possible outcomes:

1.  They break up, both of them learn and grow and live happy lives afterwards.

2.  The break up, one partner learns, grows and becomes happier, but the other partner remains resentful, hurt, and spirals downward as they get stuck in their pain.

3.  They break up, and both get stuck in their resentment and avoid their losses.  They play out the same dynamics with new partners.

4.  They stay together and learn and grow.  They overcome their challenges and become closer.

5.  They stay together, and one partner learns and grows while the other partner gets stuck and repeats the same old coping patterns, creating distance which offsets the other partner’s successes.

6.  They stay together and get stuck in the same ruts.  Both people stay miserable.

Part of the process of decision making involves evaluating what you can control and what you cannot control.

Can’t control:  my partner’s behavior

Can control:  Being honest with myself about how their behavior is impacting me, asking my partner about how I am impacting them and learning how to be a more supportive partner, asking for what I need, learning new relationship skills, being responsible for my own self confidence so that I am not needy in this relationship.

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If your priority is to learn, grow and live an authentic life, then staying or going isn’t as important as learning and growing is.

 

If your priority is to learn, grow and live an authentic life, then staying or going isn’t as important as learning and growing is.

I had a big aha recently when I had a big decision to make.  One of the worst things you can do is to ask too many people what they think.  I guarantee you, that people will be passionate, and polarized (they will split down the middle between “do this, or do that”.  This reflects the fact that most people have a black and white pattern to their thinking).  Getting polarized advice will amplify your distorted thinking, and it will amplify your fear.

Which really is the CORE THING, FEAR!

When our mind splits into black and white thinking, it does so to manage our fear.  So if you’re thinking “What is the right way?”,  I can assure you that underneath your thinking is fear energy.  Yes, it’s true!  When you say to yourself “What is the right thing to do?”, you are really saying “Oh my GOD, I don’t want to experience the WRONG THING!”.

So, take a big breath, and venture into the WRONG thing.  What are you afraid of?  For instance, “I’m afraid that if I leave him, he was the right guy for me and I’ll never be in love again”.  Why does that make you afraid?  “Because I want to be in love?”  Why does not being in love scare you?  “Because I don’t want to be alone?”  Why is that so bad?  “Because I don’t want to feel like there is something wrong with me”.  NOW THERE, is the anchor.  “I think there is something wrong with me”.  Wouldn’t you be MORE powerful if you explored that?

Both sides of that coin are true.  Of course there is something wrong with you, you avoid fear, and let it run your life.  Of course at the core there is NOTHING wrong with you (that is you, your essence), but there is something wrong with the way you relate to fear, AND THAT VERY THING could be ruining your relationship by the way.

When I went deeper, I discovered that what I was really afraid of, was how I treat myself when I am disappointed with an outcome.

When I had a recent decision to make, I knew enough to go deeply into the fear and I was surprised to find that there would be advantages and disadvantages if I chose “A”, and advantages and disadvantages if I chose “B”.  There was no right answer.  When I went deeper, I discovered that what I was really afraid of, was how I treat myself when I am disappointed with an outcome.

“How could you be so dumb?”, I would say to myself.  AND, I realized that I do the same thing to my husband too.  This was a big aha, and a big relief.  I can control how I treat myself and others when I am disappointed.  I can admit that I am disappointed, learn, and make changes for the future WITHOUT beating myself up and putting pressure on myself to know everything before a choice needs to be made.  I can expect myself to do my best, rather than be the all seeing, all predicting, perfect decision maker.

Do yourself a favor.  Let go of the “right” decision.  Explore your fear, find it’s anchors, separate what you can control from what you cannot control and make the best decision you can make at the time.  Give yourself the FREEDOM to be human, and when you do that, there just is no wrong decision.

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