Updated: Jul 19, 2022
By noon you're done. You have what psychologists term decision fatigue. You've already dressed, decided between coffee and a chai, smoothie or muesli and all the micro decisions about what to put in it and leave out. You've yogaed, exercised, done laundry, sent children to school, zoomed your little heart out and no doubt built a little empire.
We only get so much deciding power each day and right now if someone offered you a tea, coffee or scotch; you could forgive yourself for saying whisky, please. As my Mum used to say when tired and emotional - I'm sick, sore and sorry. Apparently we make 35,000 decisions every day, with 227 alone just about food. WTF****
Every decision means tossing the proverbial dice to make a choice. Every choice has knock on effects. Big and small decisions compound to create our lives, careers, businesses, relationships.
Whether we make those decisions intentionally or unconsciously there are intended and unintended consequences.
So it's no surprise that overwhelm, procrastination, perfectionism, anxiety and fear of failure are so very real.
What if there was no right or wrong decision. There is simply a decision.
So given that the decision itself is neutral, how do you know the right time to decide?
When making life-changing decisions, we’ll often spend what feels like an aeon thinking, tossing and turning various options and scenarios before we make up our minds.
We dance with different possibilities. We wrestle with the unknown (what can’t ever be known) until we take action to see how it unfolds.
Every decision is influenced by a story (yes every one): the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we believe and the stories we tell others.
Every story impacts our choices.
During this internal debating ping pong, we often beat ourselves up for our indecisiveness, uncertainty and inability to - you guessed it - decide.
When we chastise ourselves like that, we are missing something beautiful, something simple and vitally important.
Every decision has its moment.
And if we are not yet sure, perhaps it's because it is not this particular decision's moment in time.
If we are true to ourselves, and we need to decide. It’s moment will come.
A moment when we know exactly what we need to do. And when that moment comes there will be no further procrastination, no more prevarication, no doubt, no fear, no second-guessing or decision hangover.
In that moment we are released from the anxiety of possibilities. We surrender to the choice and its consequential actions and outcomes.
We feel the conviction and confidence of a clear choice.
I recently sold my home. There had been many moments before when the time made sense but it didn’t feel right. The decision felt weighty and pressured and when I finally chose, the whole process had a lightness to it, the preparation, the sale, the packing, and even the moving. It all felt empowered by its own momentum, and everything since then has flowed (and I couldn’t have known that then)!
Finding the right time for anything is a magical and practical skill, needing both intuitive and strategic intelligence.
It’s taking a direction, trusting that we know what we know from what we have already learned.
When a choice comes to its own moment, it fuels what follows and we can move forward with confidence and clarity, allowing our future to unfold to meet us.
We are ready to leave the self-flagellation behind us as we embrace what we yet can’t see.
Think of a decision you’ve recently made or need to make and try examining your wealth of experience - in one area of your life, work, love, health, money, relationship.
What do you know?
What do you understand?
What do you need?
How far have you already come?
Now bask in the wisdom, skills and experiences you’ve lived and give yourself an exultant high five!
You’re already magical and practical!
Then what decision can you trust yourself to make now?
Or do you need to decide not to decide. Not just yet!