Are you ready for a real “out of left field” kind of post? Maybe I should call this shower thoughts, or the more mom-appropriate I’m mentally tuning out the kids’ music thoughts. Whatever the label, here’s what was on my mind yesterday.
Fear is a powerful motivator. In fact, I’d say it is one of the strongest motivators. Unfortunately it is so capable that it sometimes steers us in a direction we aren’t meant to go.
There have been plenty of times in my 33 years that I’ve made decisions based on fear. Fear of missing out. Fear of what others will say. Fear of something bad happening. Fear of being different. Fear of falling short. Whenever I make decisions out of fear, it affects my entire being. Fear pulls me away from being my authentic self, which shuts me down emotionally and creatively. It dulls my “sparkle.”
As I get more and more comfortable in my own skin and knowing myself, I’ve found asking one question each time I come to a crossroads helps me make the right choice.
With this choice, am I running towards something I want or away from something I don’t?
The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but if I am honest with myself in answering that question, the direction I need to go in almost always becomes clear. Some questions I’ve applied this question to include having kids, how many kids, choices in raising them, life plans, friendships/relationships to nurture or release, jobs to go for or not, investments with time and money to commit to or not, the list goes on…
Whenever my choice or action doesn’t align with my true desire, I feel unrest. Sometimes that is just a lesson I learn and keep tucked away to remember when faced with another similar situation. Other times I have the opportunity to reverse my choice, no matter how difficult that may be, and feel the relief that only comes when you know you are being true to yourself.
I was thinking about this concept yesterday and how it has affected me at different stages of my life. I started thinking about some decisions I am making in my life right now and some bigger ones that may come up in the next few years. Some decisions seem big and scary. It can feel like a lot of pressure to make the right choice or sometimes to just make the more widely accepted choice. It’s not unusual for me to get tangled up in the process, unable to clearly see what the right choice is.
However, if I step back, breathe, and ask myself, I am making this choice out of fear? It clarifies things quickly. I am continuously getting more bold in following my heart in the choices I know are right for me rather than giving into the fear and choosing the safer or more conventional path.
I know this is out of left field. I’m grateful there is no big underlying drama that accompanies it. It’s just been on my mind as in this season of life that I’m immersed in our family and the choices that work best for us. I never want to feel like I have to defend my choices (though I know too often I offer an over explanation). I admire people that go boldly forward with their decisions. I hope to continue to be more like that. In the silence when I am alone, I am very confident and excited in the choices I’m making and want to be the kind of person that stands by them, not with arrogance, but also without apology.
I’m not there yet, but I’m working on getting better at it everyday.
Do you struggle with making big decisions in your life?
What techniques do you use to help guide you in the right direction?