I used to have an aversion to making decisions and felt that whatever happened would just happen. I would sweat over intuition versus the rational, I would look to others to advise me on the things to do and I made a concerted effort to avoid making commitments and decisions when I felt I could be wrong. The problem: I felt I could be wrong about so many things that by default I just floated along in a haze where nothing significant could ever happen. I learned the hard way that things do not “just happen” unless there are clear decisions involved along the way.
“Maybe” is a space where nothing happens.
Over the years “La Dee Dah” living, I have gotten some pretty good wisdom from renowned cognitive behavioral therapists, leaders of various industries, amazing artists and others who I deeply admire for the lives they have created. The advice was almost always the same: “get out of your own way” and “start making decisions” and “keep living.”
So, I did. The world changed. Even though I had no idea how things would turn out, but making decisions in the flow of life I could keep my space clear, I could get more deeply involved in what mattered, I could say NO to what wasn’t good… Decisions created freedom.
For myself I learned:
“I don’t know” is not an answer to important questions. It’s my way of knowing what I need to know when it matters. If I say “I don’t know,” when asked about something important, I know what it is that I need to know. That. Sometimes being challenged to define things that I refused to define would make me angry. I would say, ” I just don’t know, I have to figure it out.” And where I really couldn’t deal with something or make the choices, I wouldn’t figure it out. I would just hope I never got challenged again. Meanwhile, I wasted a lot of time refusing to find out answers that made sense to me. I would repeat the same cycle over and again because I refused to know what was behind ” I don’t know.”
“Maybe” is a lack of desire to commit. If my answer to something is maybe I know that I need to watch out and see how long that maybe exists. Either I want to do something or I don’t want to. That is usually clear pretty quickly. Maybe is a good way to avoid YES or NO. While a YES might change to a NO over time, maybe is my way of knowing that I am avoiding something. The more maybe I lived with, the less present I was in my life. The less I could commit to to the day, the more absent I felt.
“One day” is not a time frame. Even though I have no idea when or how things actually get done, without a sense of o time frame that I’d like to get them done they lingered on, not happening. “One day,” became a decade. “One day” became never. Now, even if I don’t meet my ideal time frame, I know it. I am not in a haze waiting for that mystical day to arrive when I’ve started a project or taken a trip or anything else.
I started thinking in terms of:
- I want….
- I don’t want…
- I like…
- I don’t like…
- I am going…
- I am not going…
- I love…
- I do not love…
- I feel…
- I do not feel..
Sometimes all you can go on is the information your have. Sometimes it is intuition (*more on trusting your gut HERE) and sometimes it’s logic and reason. Usually it’s a combination. The only thing I try to avoid is making big decisions when I’m upset or anxious. I tend to make better choices when I’m calm and grounded.
While making decisions means there is a risk of being “wrong”, it seems more appealing to be wrong that miserable in the space of wishy-washy “maybe” where nothing happens.
Are you sitting in big “maybe’s” in your life? Are you willing to make a choice?
Go. Do. Decide. xoxo Dana
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And, as always, please let me know what happens!