Making the “Right” Choice

No matter the scenario before me, I find myself stressing over making the “right” decision. Even seemingly simple choices are blown way out of proportion. Should I take a walk or not take a walk? Should I order take out tonight or cook? Should I clean today or tomorrow? When you break life down into these small decisions, it can become overwhelming quite quickly.

It appears as though everyone around me is moving through life intuitively, with confidence in their decisions. Even big life-changing decisions like leaving a job, getting married, having a baby, going back to school. I guess it’s not fair to say these are easy situations for others to navigate. Maybe they are just as tangled up inside as I am. I just only end up seeing the final result. Still these decisions are made firmly, as if they truly know it will be the right one. When it comes to big decisions in my own life, I can’t say I’ve ever even made one. Looking back most major life-changing decisions were made for me like getting a scholarship to college. Or I just find myself gently pushed into one like when I decided to do yoga teacher training with a friend from work.

It feels like all this time I have just been allowing life to happen to me, rather than playing an active role in directing my own experience. I guess I’ve always felt safer not being in control of these things. I’d rather feel like a victim than feel at fault. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s so hard for me to make decisions is because I know how hard I am going to be on myself if I make the “wrong” one.

I go through each day in a precise set of activities. Even though it might be nice to break away from my normal routine once in a while, I’m always too afraid. It’s not even so much about the tasks themselves, like I once thought. It’s more about not having to contemplate what to do next. When I have a schedule to follow, that takes away a lot of the decisions I’d have to make in a day. Take away the routine and I feel like I’m at sea, drowning in an ocean of possibilities.

The real issue here is thinking that there is a “right” decision to be made at all. Especially about such insignificant choices like whether to go for a walk or not. Rather than just thinking, “Oh, a walk would be nice” and going, or, “Eh, I don’t feel like going for a walk today,” and letting it go, I agonize over whether or not I should. I use up so much mental energy arguing and debating with myself about the smallest things.

I take life, and all the decisions that comprise it, far too seriously. I blow each little moment way out of proportion. Most of the thoughts I suffer over for hours or even days, won’t make a difference in the long run. It’s like I have this delusion if I can choose what to do with each second of my life perfectly, all my problems will go away. I know that isn’t true though. There is no perfect answer. There are no “right” or “wrong” choices. There is just me and what I want. And maybe the problem is I don’t know what that is. Or maybe the problem is I’m always looking for problems, so that’s what I find.

What’s the problem with being indecisive anyway? I can choose how I frame even this dilemma. I could take pride in this “flaw.” I’m quite careful and conscientious. These are excellent qualities. I want to make the most of this precious time I’ve been given. I don’t want to be wasteful with a single second. I am insightful and capable of self-reflection. Already, this mental shift has put me in a better mood. Now instead of feeling afraid and broken, I feel happy and proud to be the way that I am.

It’s so easy for me to look outside of myself for answers. I feel like in order to be happy or to love myself, I’ve got to change something outside of me, like the situation or my behavior. That’s always just another distraction though. I don’t need to change anything external to be happy. All I’ve got to do is give myself the space to find different perspectives of the same “problem.”

When I find myself sweating the small stuff today, I’m going to return to one of my favorite mantras: Can I love myself even though…? Can I love myself regardless of whether or not I go for a walk today? Certainly. Can I love myself even though I have a tendency to choose the path of least resistance and default to routine? Absolutely. Can I love myself even though I often take life too seriously? Of course. Can I love myself even though I spend so much time worrying about making the “right” decision. Yes I can. And that’s all that really matters.

7 thoughts on “Making the “Right” Choice

  1. Thanks for sharing. I really relate to this and am going to try the mantra that you use. Perhaps, you could also think of a decision that you made relatively easily, and think about why it was the case? I think, for me, fears, sorrow and anger play a big part in clouding my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely easier for me to make a decision if I can visualize the outcome and get excited about it. Fear is usually what keeps me from deciding.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I could say so many great things about this piece. I’m glad I recently discovered you, you’re putting out some great stuff.
    When you said, “All I’ve got to do is give myself the space to find different perspectives of the same “problem.” ”
    It made me think about what I’ve been introspecting inside of myself lately when it comes to perspective.
    I’ve been thinking lately that our perspective seems to be what guides us the most in life. Changing those negative or self depreciating perspectives could really be a game changer in so many people’s lives. of course, I’m making a big generalization here, I know it’s not that simple. But I’m sure you catch my drift.
    This is such great content! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoy what I write. (: It means a lot to get positive feedback like this. I definitely know what you mean, it’s not always easy for us to change our perspective of things once we become invested in the way we’ve chosen to see the situation, but just knowing that it’s an option helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so thrilled that it made you feel happy. 🙂
        I totally agree with you 100%. It’s definitely not easy. I had to learn that the hard way of course. I’m quite stubborn at times, for better or worse haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I also relate to this a lot. I’ve questioned and reflected on my own definition of “right” on the decision merry-go-round, and I think part of it, for me, is internalizing cultural values to ‘earn’ safety or belonging. Similar to you (if I interpreted it correctly), right can mean “what is not wasteful.” But there are other meanings depending on the particular choice, like “what’s most efficient” “best for everyone” “going to allow me to manage x later”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those, but as you mention perspective, it makes me think how I can take those ideas/values literally, and end up serving them, rather than choosing & evolving how I live them, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, absolutely. I’m actually about to write a post about something similar today. I find I often loose the point of what I’m doing. I get distracted by the goals society sets for us and forget the real reason I’m doing things. Thanks for your comment. (:

      Liked by 1 person

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