If making decisions stresses you out, maybe this clip will help. In my personal and professional experience, I’ve found that it’s not so much the decisionmaking that scare people, it’s the feeling that you might not be able to handle the results if things don’t go your way. So we want to know upfront before we do anything…and then we freeze.

Many years ago, someone shared the tip I explain in the clip above helpful, since I am, by nature, not a very decisive person. I was always doubting myself and focused only on the negative “what if”s. My whole waking hours were often filled with complex, detailed continency plans of what I would do if something did not work out. It was an exhausting and unpleasant way to live. 

Since then, I’ve come to know in my bones that the fundamental building block of a life is choice. We choose in every moment. It’s in everything, from what we want to spend our time doing, what we want for our next meal, who we want to be around, what we want to do for a living, what books we want to read, etc.

In fact, life is one big long string of choices that we make, every moment of every day. And days are just moments strung together like beads in a necklace. And days are strung into weeks, and weeks into months.   

Most of us were never raised to make choices for ourselves very well. We were raised to do what was expected. We were raised to do the “right” thing, rather than what we really want.

So the prospect of making decisions, when it’s about creating a life based around what we actually want, can feel very stressful. It feels like scary, uncharted territory.  

One thing is for sure: in order to make good choices, we have to at least know what we really want and not what we have been conditioned to think. 

This is no small task. In my work with clients, this is often by far the most difficult part of the journey. Decisions wouldn’t be nearly as scary if we knew what we really wanted. We know what we “should” do, but we struggle to know what we actually truly want to do.

Because if we knew what we really wanted, there would be much less second-guessing of opportunities. There would be an easier sense of whether something was for us or not. And it if something comes along that feels appealing, it would be a sense of, “Yes, this is a risk and I don’t know if it would work out. But it is a risk worth taking, because the results would be worth it.” 

And then the work would be on ensuring an inner knowing that we could survive the outcome, whatever it might be.

Making choices and decisions in this way feels exciting. It feels alive. It feels like truly living in the moment of your life.

When people don’t know what they want, everything feels much more cloudy inside. People constantly hedge their bets instead of going all-in on anything because it can feel very scary to do so. Life can end up feeling more about constant risk-mitigation than trying something new. This can result in people sitting on the indecision fence for a very long time. Half the time they are second-guessing their impulse, the other half of the time they are caught in the grips of what they think they should want. All the social conditioning. All the pressures to be a certain way. 

It is so understandable. I personally lived that way for many years. I understand what that feels like. And I am very happy to have moved through much of it, though sometimes it still pops up. 

Do know that what you want will keep beckoning you, even if you ignore it.  It won’t leave you alone. It will nag at you even as you resort to another Netflix movie or binge eating for distraction. It will keep bugging you until one day the impulse may move on. The opportunity moves on. The person you were interested in moves on. And without action or a brave attempt to try, at some point, the decision will be made for you.

That is not a fun feeling. Those who work with the dying have said that the number one regret people have at the end of their lives is not what they did but what they did not have the courage to try. 

Dare to make decisions that support what you want. Stay as much as you can in the moment and make your choices from there. That’s all you have. You can always pivot later if things don’t go as planned. And always stay open for the miraculous…