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The Fear of Making Decisions
“Please do make your decisions in life and feel confident that they are right. However, if fate is involved, feel just as confident even if they aren’t.”
― C. Elizabeth, Absolute Obsession
Romance writer C Elizabeth is certainly confident, despite a relatively short writing career. The writer of short novella Absolute Obsession has many creative outlets, including photography, cooking and of course, writing.
Decisions are a pain to make, for many understandable reasons. We have difficulty making them every day.
Yet not making them creates a scenario of guaranteed failure. Being more decisive, as with all matters of personal development, is gradual, deliberate and in most cases, certainly painful.
1. Why we fear making decisions.
That pain causes us to balk when we have to make choices. It comes in different forms.
We are brought up not to fail. Well-intentioned parents, with their desire to set us up for success, tell us that it is undesirable. The social circles in which we interact discount us when we do not make successes of ourselves. The fear of such ostracism is enough to make us balk at making tough choices.
To add, we doubt ourselves. We are afraid to embrace new concepts. We fear the challenge of new ideas. Our ever-present lack of knowledge holds us back from moving forward.
Humans need the security of the tried and tested. They need to understand the waters in which they sail so that they can charter them.
We fear the responsibility of dealing with the consequences of an inevitably sinking ship.
The Key to Better Decision Making
2. The consequences of indecision
Ironically, the ship does sink when we refuse to make these necessary, though fearful, choices.
If we do not make them, we never move forward. Our growth is paralysed.
We are unable to cope when change is inevitable, with no way to run to higher ground when a tsunami strikes.
Not making the decisions you have to actually makes you more insecure. Though every decision involves risk, not making it guarantees failure.
Not making the choice between abandoning your home and moving to higher ground means certain fatality in a tsunami. We cannot stay still and retreat within a shell.
3. How do we become more decisive?
How, then, do we become more decisive? Stability is never assured when we weigh our decisions, then painfully make them.
No matter how we try to avoid the crushing wave of defeat, it comes. Pounding. Hard.
It is a rogue, but we can counter it when we know what is making us indecisive. When we understand our fears, we can better address them.
We can start to develop the tools to counter these frightening anxieties. Perhaps it is the fear of losing savings in an investment. It is better, then, to make a smaller one.
Then, developing healthy self-belief, without arrogance, does not hurt. Belief that you are capable, no matter the naysaying, always pushes us to positive rewards.
Practicing a little positive visualisation helps in this area, without a doubt. If we visualize the rewards of our choices, we attract them.
It helps to have a concrete plan and not be impulsive.
And then, embrace failure and mistakes. They will be there, perennial nuisances that they are.
Mirror Cinquain Poem: Retreating Turtle
Head drawn in shell
Fears tender flesh exposed
And the oncoming flood of tide
Its wrecked shell covered in old weeds
It stays blessed within
Make a choice. You are not friends with the turtle that retreats within its shell.
Other poems by Michelle Liew
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- Writing a Cinquain poem
How to write a Cinquain
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- Viva La Vida: The Music and Chords of Life
This is a poem celebrating music's ability to express our every emotion, quell our fears, and most of all, give life.