How many times have you stressed over a decision – unsure of the right course of action to bring about the outcome you want? Decisions can feel big, life altering, permanent! A lot of thought and planning goes into them – a lot of agonizing over making the right decision. That’s why I am no longer making decisions. It’s too stressful.
I was at a talk by Sharon Lewis where she encouraged us to stop making decisions. Instead she suggested we make choices and that we change them every 10 seconds if need be. Choices are lighter, smaller, and easier. If you don’t like the direction your choice is taking you, make another choice. How freeing is that?
I’m a bit of a control freak, so I like to plan things out. Many times I’ll get stressed trying to decide things that really don’t need to be decided at all, or sometimes can’t be decided. For instance, my husband and I have been in a bit of a transition. He was transitioning to autonomy from a 30 year career in government. His transition prompted me to start thinking about my career future and what that would look like. I thought I needed to make decisions, finalize my plan, and announce it to the world.
However, forcing myself to make decisions about my future was causing me stress. It felt like I had to decide NOW, even though I didn’t know the best course of action. I finally realized that I didn’t have to make any big decisions. No one was pressuring me, except me! I didn’t have to decide to wind down my business on a certain date. I didn’t have to make a proclamation and set my plan in stone. It could just evolve naturally, one right choice at a time. I could focus on doing what I want, what I have energy for, without ever having to stress over a big decision. The pressure to decide was causing me grief rather than the contentment I thought it would bring.
I don’t need to make a firm decision about my career future right now. Decisions are big. Choices are smaller. So, rather than forcing myself to decide – NOW – life or death; I am stepping back and making it smaller – what is the next right choice? Not a forever decision, but a present moment choice. If that choice doesn’t work out the way I hoped it would, I will choose again in 10 seconds, or tomorrow, or next year.