Am I the only one who finds making decisions really hard?
I get stressed, overwhelmed. And really, really irritable. Mostly with myself.
Once I’ve decided to do something, I’m gung-ho, but getting to that point is hard going. I worry, that the decision I’m making is not the right one, and yet, I’m starting to realise that there’s never a right decision. A decision just is. It’s our thoughts and behaviour around the decision and potential outcome that creates all the confusion.
I read somewhere once—probably in a self-help book—that when we’re finding it hard to make a decision, we should lean into our intuition and let our gut guide us.
I don’t know what that means, really. Do you?
Sometimes, I can’t even decide what to eat for dinner. Do you ever have that too? When even the smallest decisions feel monumental?
I’ve been thinking a lot about decision making over the last week, because I’ve had a lot of decisions to make. And let me tell you, leaning into my intuition, and letting my gut guide me has mostly looked like me standing at my fridge door, wondering what to eat, and definitely feeling none the wiser about the decision I’m trying to make.
When I decided to not run across America, a few years ago, it took me months of back and forth to finally make the decision to cancel the plan and be ok with changing my mind about the my dream of running thousands of miles from one side of America to the other, with my friend, Nicole, by my side.
I’ve realised that there’s always pain attached to decision making, you know. You can go either way with a decision. And either way always brings with it some form of loss and pain.
My decision to not run across America brought with it massive disappointment, sadness, frustration and guilt—emotions I struggled to sit with in the aftermath of emailing Nicole and saying, “I’ve decided I don’t want to do this. I’m so sorry.” And yet if I’d continued with the plan of running across America, if I’d decided to press on with the plans and training and logistics of it all, that decision would have brought with it massive stress, physical and emotional exhaustion and attempting to fit hours and hours of run training around a 60-hour work week and building my coaching business.
In the end, deciding not to run across America was less painful than deciding to run across America.
I picked the lesser pain. I picked the pain that felt slightly easier to be with in my head. I picked the pain that felt less destructive on both an emotional and physical level.
If you’re sitting on the fence about making a decision, maybe you need to pick your pain too?
Maybe you need to pick the pain that comes with the decision to leave the job you hate or the pain that comes with the decision to stay in the job you hate.
Maybe you need to pick the pain that comes with the decision to nourish and look after your body or the pain that comes with the decision to not. Exercise and healthier eating brings it’s own kind of pain. But so does eating junk food every day and sitting on the sofa and feeling shit about the way you’re choosing to care for yourself.
Maybe you need to pick the pain that comes with the decision to make your flailing marriage work, or the pain that comes with the decision to wave a white flag and walk away from it.
Maybe you need to need to pick the pain that comes with the decision to continue to not really feel very happy in life but do bog all about it, or the pain that comes with the decision to take responsibility for your life and emotional well-being and do the work.
When decisions are made, there’s always pain, either way.
Maybe it’s about time you pick your pain.