Embrace the Power of Choice
Have you ever found yourself in a pickle, trying to decide between pancakes or waffles for breakfast?
It's like standing at a crossroads, except the stakes aren't as high – or are they? 😄
Let's talk about something more profound than breakfast choices – decisions. W. Clement Stone once said, "You always do what you want to do. This is true with every act. You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but whatever you do, you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for yourself.” This sounds pretty straightforward, right? But decisions can be like those pesky multiple-choice questions where every answer seems somewhat right.
And since every answer seems somewhat right, we might have a hard time choosing what we want. We delay making a decision. We’re afraid to make a wrong decision. And some of us enter in the “analysis/paralysis zone” (which is far scarier than the “Twilight Zone”).
It’s as if we’re stuck between two conflicting voices in our heads, both urging us to follow them. One voice says “Follow me down the road of safety. Follow me and be careful and cautious. Follow me and be safe and comfortable. You want to have control over your life, right? Then follow me don’t take too many risks.”
And then there’s the other voice that says, “follow me.” “Follow me to the consciousness that sets you free. Follow me on the road to your life’s fulfillment. Follow me to uncover the spiritual magnificence within. Follow me to expansiveness, transformation, and connection.”
Which voice do we listen to? What do we decide? And let’s face it, if we choose not to decide and binge watch Netflix instead, that’s a decision! So, why are decisions so hard to make sometimes?
The Quandary of Decision-Making (aka Fear of the Unknown)
It’s as if you’re standing on the edge of change, peering into the unknown. Suddenly, your brain becomes a conspiracy theorist, bombarding you with ‘what if’ scenarios. “What if I mess up?” “What if I fail spectacularly?” “What if I get it wrong?” “What if it’s worse than what I have now?”
Since you don’t have a crystal ball, you can’t predict the future or the possible consequences of your decision. You only know what you have now and then it’s all hands on deck trying to convince you that keeping things the same is not so bad.
You can take heart from Susan Jeffers, author of the book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” who writes, “I can’t lose – regardless of the outcome of the decision I make. The world is a place for opportunity, and I look forward to the opportunities for learning and growing that either pathway gives me.”
Self-Doubt, Party of One
Ah, self-doubt – that sneaky little voice that creeps in when you're about to embark on something life-changing. Suddenly, the task ahead looks like climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops. And then comes the big question, "Who am I kidding? Me, scale Everest? Nah!"
When self-doubt is running the show, things seem a lot bigger and harder than they really are. And we convenient have amnesia about all the times in the past when we made a decision, tried something new (even if we were scared) and were successful and victorious.
The Perfection Paradox
The fear of judgment is a decision-killer. It leads us to think that everything needs to be picture-perfect. We worry about what others might think if things don’t go as planned. But here's a newsflash: Earth is the party planet, and worrying about looking foolish might just steal the joy out of the party!
Forgotten Options: The Hide-and-Seek Game
Sometimes when we’re trying to make a big decision, we think we only have one choice if we don’t want to accept the current situation. For example, we can stay in a job we hate or we can quit and be unemployed. And if you’re like me you’ll add things like “unemployed and starving to death and I'll never be able to find another job.”
This either/or thinking makes you feel like your only options are between a rock and a hard place. But in reality, you’ve got more options than choosing between those two – you've got a whole playground of choices!
Dr. Ernest Holmes said, “After the intellect has made a decision, then the imagination is called into play and the game of living commences.” It's like setting the wheels in motion. Are you driving toward our dreams or reversing into someone else's garage?
Decisions: The Makeover Magicians
Our intellect is always making a decision, even when we think we aren’t making any decision at all. In that case, we are deciding NOT to decide! And so, we are always causing something to be created for us. Are we creating out of fear or confidence? Are we creating out of limitation or abundance? Are we creating out of joy and excitement and anticipation? Are we creating what we want to experience? Or are we sitting around waiting and hoping for someone else to come along and tell us what to do?
Sometimes, asking yourself quirky questions helps unlock of the mystery of what you truly desire. Questions like:
- What if I loved this very day?
- What if I accepted myself as I am?
- What would my life look like if I stopped being angry, or afraid, or resentful?
- What if I put down the old story of who I thought I was, and created a new story of who I want to be?
- Who would I be if I could be anybody?
- What if I trusted that Life loves and supports me?
- What would I do if I lived today to the fullest?
- How would my life change if I stopped struggling, and instead relaxed?
- What can I do today that supports my dreams and goals?
- Who can I forgive and love today?
And here’s the good news: decisions aren't set in stone – they're more like changeable hairstyles. We can switch routes, destinations, and even hairstyles whenever we fancy. Changing our minds isn't a sign of failure; it's a sign of embracing new possibilities.
Don’t let “changing your mind” become a fear of failure. Stay open to new possibilities. You want to be open to listen to hear your inner genius and your inner guidance when it speaks, especially if it’s indicating you’re on the wrong track.
Remember Hafiz’s wisdom: “You carry all the ingredients to turn your existence into joy. Mix them, mix them!” Think of yourself as a chef, blending courage, laughter, love, enthusiasm, and hope into your life recipe. Voila! You’re creating your own gourmet experience.
So, keep mixing those ingredients of joy. You’re magnificent and your choices and decisions are the secret recipe to a life filled with greater meaning, higher purpose, deeper joy – not to mention laughter, love, and pancakes.
Bon Appetit on your decision-making journey!
Janet is a trusted guide and mentor who helps women move beyond the negative voices in their head so they can stop settling and and start experiencing the magic of their dream again. Bottom line: she helps people answer the questions "why am I here?" by guiding them to reveal greater meaning, embody higher purpose, and awaken to deeper joy.