One thing I have struggled with for as long as I can remember is the ability to make decisions. It shouldn’t be hard to make a choice right? Well, that’s what others say, however for myself I have real difficulties making decisions at times even when they are all good choices. I simply struggle and at times question and doubt myself afterwards.
Today I want to talk about decision making a little and hope that by writing about this issue I may learn more about myself or even find a way to improve this internal struggle which I still have within!
Why Can’t I Make Decisions?
I sometimes ask myself what it is that makes decision making so difficult? Why can’t I make decisions? What is making it so hard to make a simple choice and how do I overcome this?
Decision making is something we do every day. We decide when to get up, what color socks to wear, how to style or not style our hair, how much money to spend orwhat we will eat. Life is full of decisions and for me the little decisions are easy. I simply don’t stress over them. It’s the bigger decisions I struggle with.
An example of something I struggled with as a teenager was deciding or knowing what I wanted to study. At one point I wanted to be a teacher, then a lawyer, then a nurse. I wanted to study beauty therapy and learn to paint nails. I wanted to be a physiotherapist and learn to fly a plane. I had so many ideas and thoughts that I struggled to decide what career I really wanted.
Deciding on My Career
For me deciding what to study did not come easy. In fact I started out at law school, then switched to Physiotherapy school before finally deciding to become an Early years teacher. Sadly due to illness “Adrenal Failure” I can’t work a typical 9-5 job, however I have over the past 6 years established myself as a professional blogger and I have a career that I love.
When I think about my inability to decide I realise it has a lot to do with anxiety and fear! That’s right. It’s not something I want to admit but the reality is a lot of my decisions – especially when I was younger were made from a place of fear.
I chose to study law because I wanted to get approval and feel accepted as intelligent and educated. The fear was that if I didn’t have a reputable University degree I would not be good enough.
Law was really difficult and although I passed my papers, I feared I could not pass them well enough. I wanted to be an A student and so I switched careers and tried another path. However once again my anxieties got the better of me and I felt overwhelmed. I was more concerned about what others thought than about what I really wanted.
Choosing to scrap everything and move onto teaching also came from a place of fear and anxiety. I was married I wanted to have a family and raise kids and I worried how I would be able to have a career and be a mum. So I opted for Early Years teaching. I thought I could take my kids to the day care centre with me and work as I raised my children.
Decision Making Is Not Easy
Many of the decisions I made as a young adult were based upon my fears and anxieties and worries about what others thought! The reality is my self worth and self esteem effected my ability to make a decision and stick to it or at least not second guess it.
I even decided to move to the UK, almost 11 years ago due to the fact I had a protection order which was not working and I feared and worried how I would cope living in a world where I always felt unsafe.
It’s the decisions such as where should I live, what should I study, how should I work which I’ve always struggled with and to this day it is still a struggle at times.
Deciding to Return to New Zealand
As you can imagine making the decision to move back to New Zealand after 11 years overseas has not been an easy choice. This time however the decision is not one based on fear but a rational decision based on what I feel is best for me, my daughter and my family.
We want to live near family for better family support and although I’m going to miss so many things about the UK, I actually know this is right for us. It does not stop me worrying though. I question, how will things turn out? Will we have enough to live on? Will we ever be able to afford a home. Will my husband get homesick? What about all the things we are giving up? How on earth are we going to move and sell our belongings?
I second guess myself at times and worry – but I know that is simple anxiety creeping it’s ugly head up again. We made a good decision and will follow through despite the worries that circle around in my head.
Sometimes I get sick of making decisions. It can be hard work and mind boggling at times and decision fatigue can set in especially when I have big choices to make. In fact, each day as the hours pass by decision making becomes harder for me and I realise it’s because the more tired I get the more anxious I get and the more difficult it is to not feel stressed and worried.
What I can do to combat decision fatigue is to limit the big decisions to the time of the day when I have the most brain power and energy and when I am stressed and worried, set the worries aside for another time.
Decisions About Blogging
I think for me the hardest decisions in my life are not what to cook or what to wear or where to go on holiday. Those choices are easy. Heck, I went into spec savers the other day, walked up to a pair of glasses I liked and picked them out within 10 seconds. I certainly don’t struggle when it comes to clothes or accessories. It’s the big questions such as where to live? What to blog about and what direction to go that I still struggle with but why is this?
I really dont know the whole answer but I think my worries about what I blog about, what I write about and how I run my website is intertwined with my anxiety. Why worry about the direction I take my blog? I dont know, but the thoughts that come to mind are:
- What will people think about me?
- Will this idea even work?
- What if this blogging direction fails?
- What if people don’t like my recipes?
- What if I’m too unwell to reply to people?
- What if I invest money and don’t make it back?
- What if I do all this work and it comes to nothing?
- What if …what if…what if…….
As you can see, a lot of my decisions and worries about blogging is based on the the what if scenario and my anxieties of “what if the decision” doesn’t work out.
I think my struggle to make a decision might come back to the “what if I fail thought pattern” and the “what will people think if I fail” thought process.
At the end of the day, I should not care what people think. Yes I care about my blogging audience and readers but my decisions don’t need to come with so many worries and fears, yet anxiety cripples me at times and naturally places a cloud over my head making these choices difficult when they don’t need to be.
The Decision Making Battle
I will continue to fight this internal battle that I have and tell myself, it’s okay. My decisions are generally the right ones. I can do this and even if something does not work out, it does not mean I am a failure, it simply means I’ve learnt it’s not for me, or it’s not the correct course or right direction and I simply need to re-evaluate and work out what is the next best thing.
At the end of the day, decision making is always going to be hard for me but I hope by writing about it I can understand myself better and know that my choices are okay and it doesn’t matter what others think, it matters what I think and what works for me. I will keep on trying to fight this battle and make the best decisions I can….and when I second guess myself or doubt what I am doing I will remind myself.. that I am enough, my choice is good enough and I can learn and grow no matter what the outcome.