We often believe the reason we struggle to make decisions is simply because we are confused about which decision would give the best outcome for us, or for our families.
However, a lot of the time - especially if we are stressed or lacking confidence - the decision making process makes us dig deep into our emotions, and we struggle with ourselves at the deepest level.
Even when we know the answer which may give the best outcome, we still struggle to fully commit to one path or another, putting ourselves through tremendous amounts of doubt and anxiety.
The real reason we struggle to make decisions is often not because we are confused about which path we should choose, but because we are afraid we may think the decision we made was the wrong one. The fear is actually nothing to do with the choice we have to make, but a fear of the future, and that we are not going to be able to live with our choices.
What's more, our brain does not know the difference between having a feeling now or predicting that feeling in the future, it just feels the intensity. This makes interpreting our emotions even more difficult and the decision-making process even harder!
This also happens in reverse. If we regret a decision we made in the past, this may not actually be anything to do with the decision itself, but more to do with a sense of missing out on what could have, in our minds, been a better outcome. Our brains can often work against us and, in this case, any decision we would have made may have led to the same sense of fear, doubt and regret.
So, what does all this actually mean?
If you are stressed, feeling low or have low self-confidence, whatever decision you make could mean you may have all these negative feelings in the future, so what does it matter which road you take? The outcome - in terms of your emotions - will still be the same.
If this is the case, then how do we overcome it?
If we are making a difficult decision, we need to try to eliminate the future feelings of self-doubt and regret, and we need to ask ourselves:
- If I knew I could feel however I wanted in the future, what would I choose?
- If I knew that whichever decision I make, I won’t feel regret or doubt in the future, which would I choose?
It therefore actually doesn’t matter what decisions we make; if we are not confident and settled in our lives, our thoughts about a particular job / relationship / situation are likely to always stay the same wherever we are and whatever we do.
In order to be happy about the decisions we make, we have to fully commit to the path we choose with confidence, safe in the knowledge that we may always feel doubt, fear and regret, but that we can deal with these emotions.
It is how we respond to these feeling of doubt and regret that makes the difference between success and failure. If we listen to the fear and reverse on the decision, we can guarantee that in a few months’ time those feelings of fear, regret and anxiety will return!
A key question to look at here is why are we so worried about having these negative feelings in the future. We've have had similar feelings in the past, they are normal and natural and we can deal with them just fine. So knowing they are coming in the future - and that they are nothing to fear - frees our mind to choose whatever we want.
To summarise - the real question here should be - knowing my brain will go through fear, regret, doubt and anxiety no matter what decision I make, which one is the adventure I want to have??? Which one will give me the greatest pleasure when I get there?
Todays Challenge - Think of a decision you know you have to (or may have to) make in the future. Write it down. Now write down each of the most likely outcomes depending on what you choose. Try to remove all feelings of worry, regret or doubt about the future and simply write the possible outcomes. Then decide which would give you the greatest adventure to achieve?
What to do next....
All the ‘Free Your Mind’ techniques take time and practice. But now you have some new knowledge, why not download my FREE Mindset Map, which will show you how to put everything you have learned into practice. To get your FREE copy straight to your Inbox, click here.
In this FREE Mindset Map, I outline an amazing and enjoyable journey of self-discovery. A journey that will lead you to a happier and more fulfilling future. A life full of energy and positivity and filled with a feeling of calm and inner balance.
I share my signature framework, The 5-Stage Mindset Makeover Method to:
- Get to know yourself better, take back control and uncover what your values and drivers in life are
- Start to see the world differently and develop a mindset which will naturally move you towards a more positive outlook on life
- Start the process of designing your own path forward and creating the impetus to taking those first all-important steps
- Start to make real change, gain momentum and what to do if you deviate from your path (or stop completely!)
- Arrive at your destination and what to do next!
Photo's used for our 7-day challenge were provided by local up-and-coming photographer Dominique-Alana Photography