Every day we are faced with many choices, even deciding to read this article is a choice, one I’m glad you made. I believe what I have uncovered can help you avoid living in the anxiety of inaction.
For a long time I had been faced with some tough choices and because of fear, I avoided making these decisions. The stress caused by knowing I had to do something but refusing to pick an option continued to mount, to the point that I felt I was being crushed under the pressure. I caved in and acted from a place of emotion that led me to spiral down and become even more stressed. I lacked a clear sense of direction because I hadn’t listened to my inner-self for so long. I kept hoping someone would emerge as a parental figure and help me make sense of my life. I sought advice from the smartest people I knew and even gained a couple, very powerful and successful mentors. What I learned was, even brilliant mentors can't tell you what to do. They can advise but not decide. My mentors could teach me and inspire me but the decisions as to the direction of my life I had to make for myself.
I now understand that part of my desire to have someone decide for me, was so that if things didn’t work out I wouldn't have to blame myself again. I wasn't alone in this, I hear people blame other people for their problems all the time, their parents, their boss, their lover, and the list goes on. There is a lot of blaming going around but you are only in control of one person and that person is you. The hard choices you are faced with are yours to make, don't give the control over to someone else or later you can blame yourself for relinquishing your control. As an adult, you choose the amount of influence other people have on you, so choose wisely.
Some of your choices will empower you and make you feel great about yourself and others can chip away at your self-esteem but the power is yours. Our decisions fall on us, we live with the effects of them so we should make them for ourselves. I used to be so afraid of “failure” but it's just a word, I choose not to believe in it anymore because when you learn you've always gained.
I don’t call it “failure” anymore, I call it “on the job training”.
There is some element of risk attached to every decision we make, so fearing making a wrong decision in completely normal, especially when we are attached to a specific outcome. When we sit with a problem for too long and don't take action because we are afraid, we live in a state of anxiety. By not doing anything we are deciding to be passive. Even deciding to not make a decision is a decision, a terrible one that just ensures that you don’t get what you want but worst of all it makes you feel weak.
After years of avoidance and not feeling a strong sense of direction I realized-
Sometimes in life, you can feel like a ship lost at sea. You don't have navigation capabilities, anyone to save you, and ocean in every direction for as far as you can see. What do you do? Do you just drop your anchor and wait? No. Never wait for someone to save you, they have their own ships to deal with and many people are wandering around lost themselves. You have to make a decision, choose a direction and stick with it for a while so you don't end up going in circles. Even if the path you choose isn't the exact route you want to be on later, you will have more experience and more knowledge to change your direction with confidence next time. Don’t be afraid to set sail, just get moving.
After staying in one spot for literally years, I felt really down. My ship was sinking and my confidence was gone. I found myself feeling so small under a heavy weight of pressure, by not making decisions I stayed like a child but without a parent to tell me what to do, I was breaking instead of having my breakthrough into becoming a man. Just knowing that your inaction is causing you to feel weak and full of stress can be your wake-up call. I don't want anyone to feel the way I did then, so if this sounds like you- THIS IS YOUR WAKE-UP CALL. The time has come to wake your inner sleeping GIANT! I know you probably have big dreams and desires, well caving under the pressure and hiding under a rock won't get you there. Feel for a minute, how great it would be to grow into a strong, powerful GIANT and to take your worries and stress, that boulder you've been carrying around and feeling crushed under and SMASH it into pieces once and for all. Imagine it, are you feeling your power rising inside? That's the giant in you.
The way to rid yourself of the anxiety that comes from wallowing in- “I don’t know what to do” is to get in touch with yourself, decide and take action.
This is your path to freedom- ADD
I was diagnosed with ADD as a child so I know it carries a stigma but we are conquering it by staying focused on this blog together. This acronym just happens to be very easy to implement and remember-
ADD: Ask - Decide - Do.
Ask- Look at your options and think about the possible outcomes, ask yourself what you gain from this decision, what it costs.
Decide- choose the path forward that feels best in your body and spirit.
Do- take the first step, do something to support your decision as soon as your mind is made up and you will immediately start to feel empowered.
I hope this helps you make the best choices going forward. Always remember that indecision is in fact a decision and will rob you of your power. You are stronger than you think, wake up your inner giant, and decide to live up to your full potential.
Your formerly indecisive friend,