Are you a worrier? Do you ever make decisions and then have trouble sticking to them? Do you find yourself replaying different scenarios long after you’ve made a decision or the situation has ended?
I get it. I’ve been there.
My battle with worry is part anxiety disorder and part personality trait (read Type A, perfectionistic, etc.). I also know I’m not the only one who has a hard time with this.
Everyone struggles with worry or anxiety, it’s just a matter of the extent to which it impacts your life.
Making difficult decisions and sticking with them, without engaging in obsessive worry behavior used to be one of the hardest things for me.
I’d be in a situation where I needed to make a tough decision, and then I’d go back and forth, wondering if I did the right thing, said the right thing, left the person/situation at the right time or for the right reason.
It’s beyond exhausting reliving difficult situations or replaying them in your head with different endings, wondering if you did the right thing.
Most people can relate to this on some level, anxiety disorder or not. It’s a side effect of being a human more than anything else.
In the past year, I’ve had to make a lot of decisions that impacted various aspects of my life, from my education to my career to my physical health and emotional well-being. I’ve practiced a lot of techniques to help mitigate my anxiety and though I still have a lot to work on, I’ve made considerable strides and am able make tough decisions without wavering or regret.
Today I’m going to share some tips about how to make a tough decision and stick to it without regret or replaying alternate scenarios or endings in your mind. Just like with anything, the more you practice, the better you get!
1. Learn to be ok when others are upset with you. In this post I shared 7 tips on how to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of having others be upset with you. I think this is a big issue that comes up for people when they are making a tough decision. Many of us worry about disappointing others, what they’ll think, or how our choices will impact them. If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs. You can’t please everyone and sometimes something’s gotta give.
2. A soul twist on the Pro/Con List. In addition to writing down the benefits and negatives of making a decision, write down what you think the emotional impact of making a decision will be. Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map is a great resource if you need some help figuring out how you want to feel in your life and determining your core desired feelings!
3. Choose love over fear. Don’t stay in a relationship because you’re worried you won’t find anyone else to love you (you will). Don’t stay in situations that corrode your soul because you’re afraid of not finding something better. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a project, etc., trust that if you take the next step, the universe will be there to hold you up.
4. If you don’t know what the right decision is, meditate on it. I like Gabby Bernstein’s videos on how to trust your intuition and her interview with Marie Forleo on Manifesting Miracles. Spend some quiet time in front of your altar (if you have one) or outside in nature and look inwards for some guidance. Sometimes the most powerful guidance comes in the form of the softest whisper.
5. Stop looking for permission outside of yourself. Trust that if you want to make a change that it’s the right thing for you. You can always change your mind. Another great Gabby video is her one on trusting your own opinion (<– this video is incredible! If you’re going to watch one video, make it that one.) Trust your own intuition from the start and stop asking others to reinforce/validate what you know you already want.
6. Things turn out the way they are supposed to. If you live with a deep knowing that the right people show up or leave at the right time, that things happen for a reason, that endings signal new beginnings, then you are freed from the need to replay situations or thinking any of that “shoulda, coulda, woulda” merry-go-round nonsense.
7. If you aren’t sure whether or not you should stay in a situation, do a feelings litmus test. Think about staying in the situation for another week, month, or year. Does the thought of staying fill you with dread? Or does it make you feel expansive and excited? If anticipating the continuation of this relationship/job/etc makes you want to cry and run away, pay attention to that because that may be your answer.
8. Notice how you talk about the situation now. Do you complain a lot about this situation? Do you feel the need to debrief with your best friend after daily fights with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you come home every day bitching about your boss or job to your significant other? If you are so stressed out or unhappy in a situation that it’s all you can talk about, that’s a good sign that you just need to get out of the situation altogether or find someone (like a therapist) to help you process.
9. Gut decisions lead to a lack of regret. In my experience, I’ve only experienced regret when I made a decision to please someone else instead of myself. The decisions I’ve made regarding relationships, jobs, & educational opportunities that weren’t in line with my gut but that were made to please others (or my ego) were the ones that filled me with dread and regret. If you have mixed feelings about a situation, act from your truth and watch the anxiety, worry, guilt, and regret dissipate.
10. To quote The Fray, “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”
Wishing you ease & peace in your future decision-making processes!