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How are you at making decisions? What does the word decision mean to you? What sensations does it create (do you feel) in your body when you think of making a decision, particularly if it is going to involve making changes in your life. Does the idea of change create unease, or resistance or excitement? Or even all these feelings at once. Little wonder it can feel overwhelming at times.

Questioning our decision making ability is something that can be very common, as humans seeking connection with others, we can want to feel ‘significant others’ value our choices. For me also, I want to make decisions that are sound and thought through and based on all the information and experience I have at hand at this moment in my life. But I, like everyone else I know, do not possess a ‘magic ball’ that can predict whether my decision will be the best choice/right/most productive in the future. Essentially many decisions are based on a punt/a risk/a gut instinct yet I will have to take ownership if it doesn’t go to plan and leads to disappointment. It seems understandable that it can seem paralysing and create a climate for  procrastination. And in a fast moving world, it is often not the case that there is the time for deep reflection, sometimes being asked for an instant decision can seem very stressful indeed.

The missing ingredient to being able to make decision making less painful  is often self compassion. Can I accept that I can only make a decision based on the information I have (or have gathered), my learnt experiences, my own felt sense of the situation and what my gut instinct is telling me. To accept that an element of risk is always present and that I cannot 100% predict nor control the outcome. Then I can make a decision knowing,  whether it goes well or not, that I have done all I can with the resources that I have available to me and that is all I can do as a human being. Thus setting myself up to be kind and forgiving to myself if the outcome is less than I would have wanted.

Making decisions can lead to positive changes in our lives and can be an exciting experience. Whilst taking a risk can feel incredibly difficult at times,  to duck important decisions or to avoid change (at all costs) in order to avoid disappointment/failure or disapproval from others, can be stifling for our growth and potential.

Go well this week, Sue

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