Turning the mind to face itself
Making a decision that I can live with
One thing I’ve learnt is
There is no up or down
It’s all one direction
And I’ll deal with the consequences as they arise
It’s called living an autonomous life
*in supporting someone I love through a difficult decision that is not mine to make, I got to thinking about my own decision making process.
We are handed these open ended, could be, might be, maybe not questions all the time in life, and they are ours and ours alone to answer most of the time.
Decision making, particularly on a life changing scale used to paralyse me.
Until I learned, that a decision not made is also a decision, except it’s made for us. I’m not keen on that outcome. At least if I make the decision myself, I can say, for better or worse, I chose this.
Some decisions weigh more than others.
Many smart people reduce the amount of unimportant decisions they have to make in a day, so that they can save their energy for the important ones. I do that to a certain extent, yet there are still plenty to make in both business and personal life, so sometimes I become decision fatigued.
Unfortunately, decisions – they are impartial, decisions don’t care if you’re feeling tired – they just keep coming. The effect of which can snowball if we don’t turn and face them and begin the process of dismissal via making a choice.
Something that helped me to work more efficiently, was reading somewhere (and I wish I could recall where) that there are no wrong decisions in life. There are simply decisions and then we deal with the outcome as it arises (if it is not already foreseen).
It is the fear of making the wrong decision which stymies the process, once you realise that there is no wrong decision, it takes some of the emotional trigger away.
Mostly, we already know what we want to do, it is just fear that is preventing us from moving in the direction that we want to go. Fear of uncertainty, fear of something we don’t understand or can’t see yet. Fear in general.
Ultimately, our nature decides the way that we will go.
As a person who prefers peace over chaos I (and I’m not saying this is the correct nature to have – I have seen people comfortable with risk make perfectly brilliant decisions, but they are working with a different internal structure) .
I need peace and the older I grow, the more I desire peace and balance over nearly everything. I will have plenty of adventures hiking alone, going on trips alone – but I always know the risks and weigh them against the outcome (which restores my inner peace and sense of balance) therefore a decision that looks like risk to someone else is still leading me, personally, towards peace. And I mention this because someone’s internal decision making process and their alignment with their own nature isn’t always obvious to the onlooker – and it doesn’t have to be. The important thing is that you can be at peace with your decision.
You can’t avoid decisions unless you ignore them but then, you will still be making a decision and it will have an outcome. Decisions will always await, and they change us, just as the making of them does.
In uncertain times, nothing is certain. But also, the times have always been uncertain, and anything less is a comforting illusion we sing to our inner anxious child.
I think as we grow older we become more in tune again with our intuition and we learn tools that work in order to make the process a little easier.
I never had a problem making a decision as a child. Children are selfish. As children we roar loudly if we do not wish to do something or are adverse to a certain tasting food.
Becoming older we learn to consider other peoples feelings. We learn that trying things more than once can lead to surprising palate changes. We learn that fear of a situation doesn’t mean it is dangerous. We learn to listen to fear but also walk into it carefully, thoughtfully and through that – learn that comfort zones are not growing zones. Through making decision after decision )and some may have us landing badly or looking back in remorse or wistfulness) we learn.
And at the end of the day and at the end of our lives – it won’t be the decisions that we took that bother as much as the ones that we didn’t – where fear stopped us or caution compelled us to step away from, even though our heart may have been leaning forward. I’ve got a few of those, I think we all do. Those sort are the ones that taught me the most.
Finally a tip. If you have no real connection to what “feels right” or are overwhelmed by pros and cons or other considerations. If you have yourself truly backed into a corner – try this:
Flip a coin in the air having chosen An outcome for each side. As the coin begins it’s descent your answer may crystallise in the wish for either one side or the other to land in a certain way.
If not – choose, throw yourself behind the decision and commit to the outcome either way. Remember that higher power cannot help you until the decision is made. That higher power can not help you as you deliberate and worry about a future that is not here yet.
But in the moment, once it arrives, you will always have the support you require, and/or learn a valuable lesson that helps you further along in life.
16 thoughts on “Autonomy”
Probably Jordan Peterson. I’ve read him saying something about taking action and making decisions. No wrong ones, just decisions, and then you act again. He was talking to young men about seeming to be stuck in their mire.
It’s funny that you say he is talking to young men, and I often hear him explained that way- I think what he says is applicable to young people in general (and old ones for that matter) his clear, concise advice cuts across gender divides.
Huh, looks like my comment isn’t here. Sounds Like Jordan Peterson talking especially to young men who can’t seem to take action or make decisions for fear of choosing wrong. No wrong decisions, just a decision and then you make the next one if necessary. Nice.
Hi Lynn, it was something my Dad used to tell me, because I was always so indecisive when younger, and I find parallels with Jordan Peterson too – they had a similar way of thinking at times and I think Dad would have enjoyed JP if he had known about him.
This resonated with me. I appreciate the empowering agency of making a decision especially when combined with the understanding that there really are no right/wrong decisions. All I need to do is accept the consequences of the decisions and that’s much more palatable when I’m making conscious choices vs. just letting decisions happen to me.
Exactly Monty. If we think about it there are many things that do happen to us that are out of our control. Way out of control. Like stock markets, fuel prices, the economy, someone else choosing to drink drive and smash into our car – people we love dying. Terrible things can happen any moment and mostly we are okay.
A decision is something that is ours to make – but the circumstances into which that decision falls – if it’s out of our control (and it often is) could/will change the outcome of our decision anyway. If not today, tomorrow. Our only job is to take the information that is provided to us at the time, and then make a decision to the best of our ability. It’s freeing (and a little shocking) to realise that there is very little we actually get to control. A decision, our small part in the wider world, is usually the very least of it. Yeah, it feels important but a meteor could hit the planet or a deadly virus could spread around the world and cause unprecedented chaos – it happens. We just do the best we can with the info we have at the time, and then find our peace within. ✌🏻🙏✨
This thing we call life requires both serenity and courage. As the serenity prayer suggests the key is the knowing the difference between what we can and cannot change. 🙏
One of my favourite prayers, Mum used to say it all the time
Yeah, Jordan was specifically talking to young men in the podcast I heard about taking action of any kind. But yep, he talks to everybody.
As you get older you realize that things change all the time.
Leave the decision for a while.
Nine times out of ten it will sort itself out.
They do change don’t they? Sometimes even when we look at it in a slightly different way or from another angle. Most things are malleable, but particularly when we change our mind about it.
Wow! These are some powerful inspiring words.
Thanks Kelly I’m glad you found them that way.
Decisions, decisions,…Kate, what a powerful post. I was nodding my head while reading as it all resonated with me. When younger I made rash decisions and learned to stop making them in emotional states. Like you stated, no decision is a decision. Like you, peace is what I want. Decisions now are made with spiritual contemplation and at times, if adventure related, will be fast and off the cuff as to release the meandering of overthinking! Being alone, and now battling cancer, has forced decisions quicker than I thought I’d make. It’s also provided time to reflect on the decisions I’ve made in my life. They’ve led me to here. Not always the path I wanted to be on~but the decision was mine. My Creator was there no matter what. I just love your words and perspectives. 💕❤️🥰
I love your words and perspectives too and I truly think if we make a decision from our heart/gut than we will be supported down the road with whatever happens either way – but until the decision is made we don’t move forward with any certainty. As an indecisive person realising the things in this post and putting them into practice has been life changing X
Thank you, Kate. Beautiful words! I’m practicing all the time. 💛💕🥰