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  • Writer's picturelaurenstreetcounselling

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

Do I? Don't I? How often do you find yourself at a crossroads trying to make a decision?

Decisions are a daily part of life, some studies claim that on average we make around 35,000 of them every day. Some are much easier than others; what train do I get? tea or coffee? admitting to people I watch Love Island or not? I am definitely in the latter for the last question!

However, what happens when the questions get a little bit harder? Sometimes we can find ourselves crippled by fear of making the wrong decision and stress ourselves out at the prospect of doing so. It's a common occurrence that we all face in our lives at some point and it's due to how much emphasis we put on doing the right thing. Big life decisions such as buying a property, embarking on a new career, getting married or starting a family can feel really daunting, but, they can also be really exciting.

There are a number of demands we can place on ourselves when it comes to decision making; how many of these sound familiar?

I must not fail

I must not make a mistake

I must know that the decision will pay off

I must be in control

How many of these are actually fully achievable? I'll leave that question there for a minute.

There's also a misconception that with each decision there are only two choices; doing it or not. However, there is the choice of indecision, standing still or waiting to see what happens organically. This option, as I say to my clients quite often, is secret option number 3. We place so much pressure on ourselves to not only make decisions but also the right ones. This follows on quite nicely from my last blog post about failure not being an option. In this case it seems making a mistake isn't an option either. So back to my previous question; how many of the above demands are actually fully achievable? In my opinion; none of them are. We can do everything in our power to ensure we make the right decisions but sometimes things just don't go our way and we need to accept this.

By letting go of the demands we place on ourselves around decision making we can feel in a less anxious state which may even increase our ability to make decisions, because we're not so anxious about making them! I am yet to meet a client in my therapy room where making a wrong decision has caused them to be completely stuck with no way out, but sometimes they tell themselves they are and that's why they've come to therapy.

I do take into account the number of external uncertainties we currently face such as Brexit, the economy and who our next PM is going to be may influence our life changing decisions. But ask yourself this question; what changes if nothing changes?

By challenging our own misconceptions about decision making we can start to feel emotionally healthier and start deciding on where we want to be in life. We only get one life and it's precious so do what you love, challenge the unhelpful and make mistakes!

Please don't hesitate to get in touch should you feel like you need additional support or want an informal chat.

Till next month

Lauren x

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