Decisions, decisions, every day we make decisions. Of course, some decisions are more difficult than others to make, however, uncertainty tends to fall under the anxiety-provoking umbrella for most people. Although uncertainty is a part of life, there are moments that raise considerable angst and stress. I remember becoming frantic (on the inside) and hesitant (on the outside) all too well. I would ask myself “what if…” and imagine one scenario after the next, most of them ending pretty badly. While this may be common and seem natural for many of us it’s important to move through uncertainty and move forward. Here are some ways to do just that!
1. Write down your questions and concerns.
Because every situation will be different, being clear about what is at stake is important. What are your concerns? Are they realistic? Is this just anxiety holding you back? Are you only imagining worst case scenarios? It is also important to ask yourself what will happen if you don’t make a decision. I like writing my experiences down because it helps me to process things. Talking with others is also helpful but “talking to yourself” to define what your concerns and timelines are and to develop some good questions is a good idea before connecting with others.
2. Reflect on how you’ve dealt with uncertainty in the past.
I used to live well beneath my potential simply because I was unsure and afraid. I would keep my questions to myself, hesitate and hesitate and hesitate some more until the window of opportunity closed, for good! This has not served me well. If you’ve been more proactive than I was in the past, I congratulate you! You have experiences to go back to and benefit from. If not, read on.
3. Decide how you want to live.
Like I mentioned earlier, in the face of uncertainty I used to become hesitant to the point of stagnation. I have discovered that living courageously is so much better for me! How do you want to live????
4. Be clear about what’s most important to you.
I coach many people around defining their core values. My core values are the heart-beat of my motivation. I don’t know what I would do in a world without compassion, integrity, authenticity, learning and growth! Without understanding and reflecting on my values I tend to remain confused and conflicted. There is not enough time for me to get into defining core values here, but if you’re not sure what yours are, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will help you figure it out.
5. Seek guidance.
I am a firm believer that life is better lived in the presence of community and with the wise counsel of those you trust. Being a person of faith, I journal, pray and share my needs and concerns with several mentors. I definitely recommend accessing trusted advisors. While the decision will always be yours, well-balanced decisions are most often well-informed decisions.
6. Make a decision.
Very few things in life are certain. In some situations, you won’t “know” what is best until after you’ve made the decision. The truth is, if you don’t die, you can learn and grow from each decision that you make. I don’t mean to minimize your concerns, in fact, I intend the opposite. It is important to put things into perspective. We will not die from most of the decisions that cause us to feel unsure. Learning to take calculated risks is all a part of growing and gaining useful “life experience”. After seeking guidance, the truth is, you won’t know until you go!
Create a plan, set a date and be courageous! If I can do it, so can you!
Until next time, take care.
p.s. Let me know how it goes!!!