Are you stuck in a complicated situation or stage of your life and afraid to make the wrong decision? A decision you might not be able to take back or that might turn your life upside down? Are you rather not making any decision at all than ending up with a mess? Good. There are a few things worth considering that could help you fighting your fear of making the wrong decision.
Every day, we make decisions without even thinking about it. And each decision has an impact on our life we are not aware of. Let me give you an example: Have you ever crossed the street despite the lights were red? You know that it might not be wise to do so. Yet, you’ve made that decision, because you were pressed for time, and there haven’t been any cars within sight. In order not to lose any more time it seemed rational to cross the street anyway.
Why were you in a rush in the first place? You went out the night before and woke up later than usual, although you knew this important meeting had been scheduled. Then, you ran into an old friend who was in town and it was nice catching up after all this time. See? You’ve made all these decisions by quickly evaluating each scenario and went for it.
Whatever we do has consequences. We trust our gut feeling to make the right decision within the blink of an eye. In general, our inner compass guides us quite trustworthily.
It can do so because we’ve made certain experiences several times before which enables us to judge whether a decision is reasonable given the circumstances.
Why Do We Fear Some Decisions, Then?
The reason why we start struggling is that we might have to deal with a choice that we have never faced before. It’s understandable that we start feeling uncertain about what to do. The importance of a decision considerably influences how we feel about things.
The question if we should start a family or not has a different impact on our life than deciding whether to order tea or coffee. As soon as we actively start thinking about life-altering decisions, things seem to be getting complicated:
- We fear consequences when others are involved, like our boss, our partner, our parents, our friends etc.
- We fear others might not like us anymore of we make an unpopular decision
- We get cold feet, because we fear we might not be able to live up to our or other’s expectations
- We have to make a decision, because circumstances are forcing us to
- We want to make a decision, because we need a change
- We do not feel strong enough to pull it off
- We fear we might fail
- We fear we might look foolish
Without a doubt, it is important to think about our decisions thoroughly. And all those above mentioned thoughts are reasonable as long as they enable you to take the best possible steps towards your goal. However, if they prevent you from making any decision, fear is blocking you.
Fear vs. Reality
I’m not telling you to jump just right in without thinking about possible consequences, but you need to learn to trust your instincts and your mind. You already know what’s best for you.
You might not have made the same decision before, but you might have been in a comparable situation. If not, you still know how to make decisions.
You should bear in mind that there is no such thing as a wrong decision. The only thing that you could do wrong is not to decide at all.
Why? If you don’t make a decision at some point, you’ll be floating through your life like a boat with a broken steering wheel does: You are not the captain of the ship if you are just waiting for circumstances to lift the weight off your shoulders. You will never get what you want, but end up with what is left for you.
Is this really the life you want to lead?
What If I Start Thinking “What If”?
Whatever decision you make, it is the right one for now. You have chosen it to be. You can ask yourself a thousand times “what if” – you will never know unless you have tried. This is the first step that will lead your life in another direction.
As long as you keep moving you can always change directions. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get stuck. Making considerate decisions will prevent you from treading water.
If you discover that the path you have chosen is not ideal, well, that’s an insight after all. And it is something tangible you can work on next.
So tell me, what’s holding you back to make a decision?