The Decisions You Make

“Every decision you make is the right one, because it’s the one you made”

So many of my clients (and friends) either have or will hear me say this. It typically causes a pause, and I get it. So to clarify: This is not to mean that you are always right. Or that you won’t need to redirect, alter the course, and make an adjustment as you go forward. It is to mean: Keep going. Stop dwelling on whether the decision you made was a mistake. The dwelling – THAT’s the mistake. And darn it, if it isn’t so easy to do.

Are you a dweller? A second-guesser? This behavior shows up with many of my clients, so I wouldn’t be surprised if your answer were yes. Maybe for you, second-guessing typically results from decision-making in a particular area, like choosing to say yes to something you don’t particularly want to do, considering a job or career change you’re unsure of, or taking on a family responsibility you may have resistance to, etc. Sometimes this results in inner turmoil that leads us to be short-tempered and reactive with the ones around us.  What’s really going on, is we’re lashing out because of our struggles with our own decision-making. See how this can go sideways 16 (hundred) ways? It’s a good one to figure out.

I have found that a huge part of what’s missing and keeps the second-guessing going is you’re not grounded in WHY you made the decision (whatever it may be) in the first place. I will often encourage clients to get super clear on this, and to keep a reminder close, so that when the twinge of doubt pops up, those reminders are at the ready to combat the unending cycle of dwelling.

Already missed the boat on that tip and still need help getting off the doubting yourself train? Here are some additional tips for helping yourself break the cycle of dwelling on and tearing yourself apart about decisions already made.

  1. Set a timer. If you just KNOW you need some time to dwell and ruminate to get past it, do it. But be intentional about it by giving yourself a time limit. I highly recommend using a timer to mark a definitive end to the dwelling period and then
  2. Change your perspective. Do what you can to shake it off, literally. Try moving your body with some jumping jacks or yoga, go for a walk, play with a pet if you have one. Anything to shift your mindset to something else.
  3. Phone a friend. Need some connection? Reach out and connect to a trusted pal for a reality check. Sometimes talking things through out loud can help you move through the dwelling a lot quicker.

Whichever tool you try to combat second-guessing decisions, also try telling yourself “Ok, done. Onward and upward.” Giving yourself clear and overt permission to move on is key to creating the space for exactly that to happen. After all, if you won’t free yourself in this way – who will?

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