You know how there are those people that just do one job their whole lives, they have one distinct style of dress and decorating, they know exactly what kind of wine to get because they always get the same one, and they’re the first one to order when you go out because they read the menu before you got there and decided between the two things that they like as soon as they sat down?
Yeah. This is not me.
I walk into BevMo and see seven aisles of floor to ceiling beer, and I can’t even figure out if I should walk right or left, or back out the door I came in. The bulk discount of six bottles or more makes me feel relieved, not because I’ll pay less, but because I don’t have to make quite as many choices. Except of course, I do. Because choosing six from 600 is just as difficult for me as one from three.
Paralysis by FOMO.
What if I choose the wrong one? If I do this, I’m not doing that. If I choose this, I won’t have room for that.
This looks the same in my work life. Maybe I can do this. Maybe that. Oooooh, maybe that! Dinner time is not better. Don’t even get me started about shoe shopping. And on a non first world problems level, it looks the same when I’m making parenting decisions, especially about where my kids are spending time, with whom, and how.
I want to get it right.
However, this is not a post about letting go of the idea of right or wrong, because there isn’t one. This isn’t a post about presence, and mindfulness, and gratitude, and letting go of not experiencing the alternative possibility that came with a different decision. This post is about getting to the decision, about making the choice so you can enjoy right here right now.
When I get stuck, and I’m spoiled for choice, here’s what helps me get clear.
- Narrow my own choices by going back to the goal or purpose.
Why am I making this choice? What is my desired result? What things will actually help me accomplish that? Limiting the options actually creates an expansive, rather than contractive, energy.
- Listen to my gut, then hit pause.
To what was I first drawn? That’s likely the answer. As a gut check- did it feel right because it was familiar and known and easier, or did it feel the kind of right that gave me goosebumps? Both can yield the results I want, as long as I’m clear about what those are.
- Does it match my core values?
I’m not just talking about ethics and morals here, I mean does it align with things that are important to me, like feeling good, like flexibility, like being with my kids, and like connection? If it’s going to interfere with things I hold at my core, I can guarantee it won’t work for me.
- Who else does it affect?
Zoom out a bit, are there other stakeholders involved? What would work for them? How much does their vote count in this situation? Did I get any input?
- What’s the term?
Will I feel good about it in the morning? Will I still like this in three days? A year from now? Is this something I want to be a part of my story?
- Is it the most loving choice?
Am I leading with love? Is there softness around the decision? Can I lean into it with open arms and not a chest protector plate?
- Am I making this unnecessarily complicated?
Probably yes. If I’ve gone through all of the above thoughts, the answer is probably right in front of me, like it has been the whole time, I just hadn’t gotten out of my own way yet.
Choose wisely, with your heart, and with the confidence that no matter what you choose, you are good.
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