Every day we are faced with choices, some small, some large. We need to decide on clothes to wear and food to eat. These are small choices. Then there are the days we have to make the big decisions, the ones that take more effort because they may change our lives forever.
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”Jim Rohn
Sometimes the choices we have to make appear simple, but they can have drastic consequences. For example, when we are faced with a person spewing angry accusations and words at us, we can choose to be angry right back, or quietly state our truth. Diffusing the situation is many times the harder choice but the one that helps us in the long run.
Life-altering choices can fill us with fear and dread. If you are a person like me, you do not like making choices. Sometimes it is easier to let someone else make the choice for us. With small things this may be ok, but with your life choices, you should take control and decide for yourself.
Some feelings that may arise when faced with a tough decision:
These feelings are not pleasant, so we need to have tools in our toolbox to help us when faced with difficult decisions. Taking time and working through all your choices will help you to feel at peace with your decisions. Even if, for whatever reason, your decision turns out to be the wrong one, you will be at peace knowing you put your best effort into the choice.
Steps toward making tough choices:
- Give yourself time (if possible) to make your choice.
- Do something to relieve your stress (exercise, meditation, etc.)
- Investigate every option in detail
- Make a list of the pros and cons of each possibility
- Consider your values and ultimate goal – which choice fits better
- Journal your thoughts on all possibilities
- Talk with a trusted friend or family member
“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”Keri Russell
We all make “wrong” choices sometimes. We order the wrong food for lunch, we don’t change jobs at the right time, we choose the wrong road and end up in traffic. The truth is though, that any choice you make is better than no choice at all. You should not be afraid of making a mistake. We learn as much (if not more) from our mistakes than from our successes. Action is better than inaction. When you make the informed decisions, you are moving forward toward the life you desire, which is always good.