Through much of my life, I have had a hard time making decisions. So it strikes me as ironic that I now have a lot to say about decision making and I now help my clients get clear and make decisions. I guess, like everything else, when we struggle with something; we sometimes end up learning about it in a more robust way.
We are constantly making choices. We choose consciously or unconsciously. We just don’t always recognize the unconscious decisions we make. A passive approach lets circumstances or others decide for us.
I learned from my father that not to decide is to decide. This is one way to go, but it is surprisingly dis-empowering.
So why don’t we make choices?
- We're afraid of making a mistake.
- We are afraid of … what it will mean.
- We are resistant to taking the required action it will entail.
- We don’t want to take on the responsibility.
- We are afraid of how others might judge us.
- We’re afraid of disappointing or hurting someone.
- It brings on discomfort, and we really like being comfortable.
- It puts us in unfamiliar territory and we really don’t like the unknown.
- It will mean letting go of something else, and all other possibilities.
Sometimes we have already decided something. Sometimes we already know the answer, but…
One question it’s good to ask yourself is, “Who’s in charge of this decision?" Is it the current you, or the eight, or eighteen year-old in you? Each will make different choices, so decide who you want in charge of the decision.
From my experience with my clients, once things become clear, change happen. Sometimes we are just not ready for what that clarity will bring, even if it’s ultimately good.