I often hear people saying that they didn’t have any other choice as to the reason why they made a certain decision or action they took in their life.
While I can understand this, it’s also total BS…..
In every single situation we find ourselves, we always have a choice, sometimes more than one choice or option. When we make a choice, it gives us a sense of moving forward and being in control of our decisions.
When we don’t make a choice, we feel stuck. We’re not sure what to do so we end up feeling emotions like being confused, overwhelmed, frustrated and questioning or doubting ourselves.
You see, when we are sitting in a situation and we’re not sure what the outcome is, we try to control the outcome by overthinking things. We over analyse, hesitate, try find meaning, a sign, a reason, a confirmation from someone else that we are making the right choice. This is primarily so we don’t experience ‘choice reservations’ – something similar to what we know as ‘buyer’s remorse’. In other words we don’t want to regret the decision we’ve made in case there was something better or something else we could’ve done.
Underneath all of this is FEAR.
Fear of the unknown or the uncertain and that’s exactly what being in a situation is – uncertain on the outcome. So in every situation there will always be an element of the unknown because we will never ever have all the answers or complete certainty that things will work out the way we want them to. We will never know for sure how something is going to work out until we are actually there and doing it.
Fear is easy to work through if you know how. The secret to this is having control over your fears instead of your fears controlling you – this is what keeps you stuck in limbo.
Here’s how you can work through fear:
F – what are the facts of the situation?
When we focus on the facts of a situation, it’s easier to not get caught up in the emotion of the situation. Being factual allows us to look at things objectively and see them for what they are.
E – what are the emotions I am experiencing right now?
If you name it you can tame it – so name the emotions you’re experiencing. . Once you name it, you can start doing something about it. It’s ok to feel scared, unsure or doubtful at times. We’re only human at the end of the day and humans feel things.
A – what actions can I take right now?
If you could take any actions, what would they be? List all the options available to you and the pro’s and con’s of each option. Once we map out our options, it’s easier to see which option may be the best one for us to take.
R – what will my reality be?
If I had to choose one of my options above, what would my reality be like then and will I be ok with it.
People have this perception that once they make a choice that’s it, they’re stuck with it and have to live with it. While there may be some truth to this, we also need to realise that we can also change our minds at any given stage despite the decision we may have made. Nothing is concrete or cast in stone.
A decision or choice is not a forever thing, it’s a ‘for now’ thing – and all we need to do to get unstuck is make a choice, take one step and then figure things out from there as we go.
We can always change our minds, we can always make a new decision or choice – it’s not a jail sentence.
So if you want to get unstuck – make a decision and then go from there.
Paula Quinsee is a Relationship Expert, Tedx speaker and author of self-help guides ‘Embracing Conflict’ and ‘Embracing No’. Paula works with individuals and organisations to cultivate healthy relationships in both their personal and professional arenas by focusing on emotional skills and personal growth and development. She regularly appears in the media and consulted to ‘Married at First Sight SA’ TV show.