“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
_ Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Every moment, we are all faced with decisive decisions for our future. Our life is influenced by the decisions we make in a more or less conscious way. These decisions can change our career, our relationships or our whole life. Even when we do not choose, we are actually making a decision.
Choosing – which job offer to accept, speak or not with the person you like, etc … necessarily requires the responsibility of the consequences of your choice, accepting the “share of risk” inherent in our every daily action.
Each of us, in the course of our life, is making choices and can come to terms with the fear of deciding what to do.
Making a decision, from the most trivial to the most important, is actually a constant of our existence and is what helps us to grow, change, evolve.
Unfortunately, there is no manual that can help us find the right answer, so how can we make the right decision?
In order to do that there is a fundamental question to ask yourself, without being overwhelmed by stress and anxiety:
What are your decisions dictated by?
Understanding exactly what is the force that drives us towards a decision is a very delicate and profound question.
If we evaluate things for what they are, and perhaps we go to retrace our past experiences, we can certainly distinguish that the truth is only one.
The causes that are always behind our decision are exactly the two extremes:
2. Love and enthusiasm
“All you have to do is decide moment by moment which voice you listen to: the Truth of Love or the nightmare of fear.”
― Dragos Bratasanu
5 more commune types of fear of deciding:
1) Fear of making mistakes
It is the most widespread form, typical – in particular – of those who hold positions of responsibility. The fear, in this case, is the fear of making irreparable mistakes or making a decision that could prove to be a failure (for example, the employer who has to decide who to dismiss, who has to decide between two completely different job offers). The person stands as an inflexible judge of himself and his actions and this condition leads him to living conditions such as anxiety, stress, worry. he lives with the constant terror of being.
2) Fear of not being up to par
This form of fear has to do with self-esteem, that is, with the idea and the value we have of ourselves and our abilities. In the most extreme cases, those who live in this form of fear tend to avoid important roles of responsibility, delegation and even when they can prove to themselves and others, to be able to carry out tasks of fundamental importance, they are not never satisfied and consider it appropriate to engage without ceasing, without fully enjoying the success obtained.
3) Fear of exposing oneself
It is that form of fear that manifests itself when we have to make a choice and communicate it to others. In this case, the problem lies in the idea of having to confront and expose oneself to the judgment of others. Associated with this form of fear, there may be the fear of speaking in public, but also of clinical pictures such as paranoia, persecution, and social phobia. Starting from this fear, the person can put in place behaviors aimed at “defending” or avoiding all those situations in which exposure is required.
4) Fear of not having or losing control
This type of fear can be considered “transversal” to the other forms so far illustrated. We live in a society that asks us to constantly “control” every aspect of our existence and therefore we can build the belief that decision-making is possible and necessary to be able to control every little detail. If on the one hand, it is precisely such an “illusion” that helps us to make decisions and to act, if extreme, leads to situations of a real block. The need to have the absolute security of the control of every variable of the choice to be made triggers real “mental loops” and the choice not to choose.
5) Fear of unpopularity
One of the most important needs of the human being is that of feeling appreciated and esteemed by others and precisely starting from this need, the fear of deciding can arise, in fear of losing the consent and appreciation of the people. Usually, those who live this form of fear, is a very condescending and not assertive person and, therefore, faced with decisions that can – in some way – create displeasure or irritation to others (considered important), can live real stressful situations, suffering, and discomfort.
Regardless of the type of fear of deciding, what emerges is the fact that events are not in themselves creating states of anxiety or stalemate, but the personal way in which each one lives and addresses these events.
Any decision dictated by fear will have, for us and for our human experience – confined in a space-time world – very different results from any decision dictated by enthusiasm and love.
In the universe, there is constantly a constructive force at work which creates order and harmony that is equivalent to love, and a destructive force that creates disorder and disharmony that is equivalent to fear.The result of a decision dictated by fear, unfortunately, will always be to bring disorder and disruption to life, then involution.
This result will be translated into endless possibilities, such as always retracing the same experiences, or continuing to live existential events that keep us connected to negative experiences that do not allow us to evolve.
Although apparently and momentarily the result of the decision can appear good and positive, the final result resulting from any decision dictated by fear will always bring disorder and disharmony in life.
The result deriving from a decision dictated by love and enthusiasm will always be a constructive and successful an evolutionary experience.
How to make an important decision?
It is absolutely essential to collect the information you need about the options available and analyze them appropriately.
2. Talk to people who have faced similar decisionsTalking to a series of people who have gone through different paths and who are willing to expose themselves sincerely can
be very useful.Every experience is different from any other, but there could still be a lot to learn from those of others.
3. Ask yourself what you would choose if no one intruded
In many decisions, the needs and desires of loved ones are central and take on some weight. But often we are also influenced too much by other external factors, for example, which choice would give us greater prestige or what people will think.
A useful strategy is to imagine a scenario in which no one knows or cares about the decisions we make. It is fundamental to identify which of the objectives we set ourselves are in line with what we really want and which ones have actually been dictated by something else.
4. Do not let yourself be guided by fear, without ignoring it
To create the desired life you need to take risks, sometimes even big ones, and be honest with yourself when deciding. To say that you should never make decisions based on fear would be too simplistic since fear protect us from danger, but when we run into very important decisions of life it would be good to avoid always making choices that protect us from any risk. In this regard, we have seen that focusing on avoiding fear instead of pursuing what we want is associated with loneliness and insecurity.
5. Look for alternatives
Often we focus only on the options already examined, leaving out potential alternatives. One should ask instead: are there any variations to the considered options that could work? Are there completely different paths that are worth exploring?
If you were very undecided it could be a sign that none of the options is correct and that a new possibility could be the most appropriate.
6. Stop thinking about it for a while
Ruminating on a decision to be taken can have very negative consequences. Bogged down in the details can also interfere with your own ability to clarify what you really want. Distracting yourself from the decision to be taken for some time and then returning with a fresh mind can help you make the right move (of course, after you are well informed!).
7. Test each option
Some research shows that people tend to make different decisions depending on the mood they have when choosing. To bypass this problem, imagine that you have made your decision and keep this choice for a few days. This strategy will allow you to check how you feel in the following days on the basis of the path you have chosen to undertake.
8. Consider how your “future self” will feel
People tend to underestimate how their values, personality, preferences, and hobbies will change over the years. Getting out of this illusion can motivate you to choose what is best for the present rather than for the future. Although it is difficult to predict exactly what you will want in the future, it would always be better to consider the possibility that it might be something very different from what you want now.
9. Accept that the perfect decision does not exist
Making a difficult decision can be particularly stressful when you imagine that there is only one right choice possible and you just have to figure out what it is. The truth is that often this fateful “right choice” has its positive and negative sides. Any road you decide to undertake will always try a little ‘sadness, loss and displeasure, but this does not mean you have made the wrong choice.
If the answer comes to you spontaneously, fine. If, on the other hand, you are a tendentially reflective person, it’s all right. Take your time, reflect and above all “feel” as best you can. The answer to the question will not come to you from the head but from the heart. It is a fundamental answer that changes your life.
When we wish to change, what we really change is our thoughts and beliefs and in doing so we also transform our lives.
It is not necessary to know exactly “how” to make such transformations. It is enough to “desire” and “be willing” to change.
Man’s existence is characterized by change, which occurs continuously.
If you are not the one to decide, you will be subjected to the decisions of others.
In fact, we decide continuously, even when we believe we do not do it: in those cases, we have nevertheless chosen not to act.
We are the only thinkers present in our mind. Regardless of what others tell us, we decide whether to accept or reject. Our strength is in the mind because our thoughts are creative.
We lose control of our power because of the guilt, the inability to say “no”, that wanting to always please others for fear of not being accepted. Many of us live for parents, others for a partner or companion, for a wife or husband, for friends, for employers or for their own religion.
By changing our mental priorities, we return to our strength. It is only then, in fact, that we realize that we too are important and that we can not live just to fulfill the expectations of others.
We are not born to deny ourselves, but to share our uniqueness.
Nobody should live our life. This does not mean being selfish, I regard it as simply taking care of oneself, deciding what is good for oneself.
“I make everything I do a conscious choice. I still end up doing almost everything I did before only now I am doing it because I want to and not because I have to. This significantly changes my energy and how I feel about everything.”
― Akiroq Brost