Do you ever find yourself feeling almost paralyzed when you are faced with making a decision? Does Anxiety get in your ear and play the "What if...?" game using every possible choice you are considering and coming up with a list a mile long of why that choice is not the "right" one?
Challenges with indecision and feeling stuck are some of the most common complaints that I hear from my chronic worriers and anxious clients.
Oh Anxiety, what silly games you play 🙄
Here's the deal, one of the tactics that Anxiety uses to convince you to get your panties in a wad (have you ever been able to get much done when your underwear was bunched up? I thought not 😉) is this idea (technically this is a cognitive distortion) that there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. Folks, I am not here to get into some deep moral discussion about right and wrong. I am, however, going to share my take on why assuming that there is a "right" and "wrong" choice when you are makng a decision is keeping you stuck, and, most often, miserable!
Guess what? Decisions are just decisions. If you decide and then want to make a different decision, have at it. Will it possibly be more difficult or require some extra work on your part? Possibly...AND that is where the rubber meets the road! Being willing to make a decision and then make another decision if the first one is not working out. THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR PERFECT DECISIONS! I have made plenty of decisions that may have worked out for awhile, until they stopped working out, in which case I made another decision!
See Anxiety has you convicnced that if you just make the "right" decision the first time that you will be certain and comfortable for the rest of your life....yeah, I call bullshit on that one! Decisions are just decisions and the more we make then the better we are at just going with our gut AND being willing to change course when we get more information that guides us in a different direction.
Remember that Anxiety wants to keep us in the future and convince us that we can somehow predict and respond without actually having all of the information. Guess what? You do not need ALL of the information, only what is in front of you. Stay in the present and use the information you have to make the best decision you can in the moment AND remember that you can change your mind and change course whenever you want!
Here is a post that I made on Facebook this week that speaks to how decisions are not set in stone and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be as flexible as possible as we move forward:
"So Sometimes in life you find yourself at a fork in the road and initially you think you are going to go right and then something else pops up and you decide to go left instead….
This summer we had made plans for getting our Anxiously Empowered Teen group back up and running and adding a group for Tweens. You see, all Spring when I had a Teen group running, I kept getting parents and grandparents who wanted a group for their Tweens and I wasn’t in a position to offer one at the time. So we planned and advertised and the Teen group got started, but the Tween group didn’t end up with anyone signed up 😳 The folks who were interested in the Spring were not availabe this time around. So I sat with this dilemma 🤔
A couple of days ago while I was meeting with a college aged client, she shared that she really wished that there was a support group for Anxiety so that she could practice some of the skills she was learning in her sessions….BOOM 💥 There it was….the opportunity to go left instead of right!
Turns out, when I mentioned it to two other young adult clients, they were interested too 🎉
So here’s what’s happening: We have ourselves a Anxiously Empowered Young Adults Group forming right now (no time like the present to jump on this gift from the Universe 🎁).”
Now, if you are one of the folks who has a Tween and are suddenly gasping for air thinking that there will never be a Tween group, that you have lost your chance….please take a deep breath and know that if and when your Tween is ready for a group, we will make it happen. For now, though, I am going to take my own advice and move forward with a different decision than what I originally would happen and work with those that the Universe has placed in my path at this time.
You see, this Young Adult group, which I had thought about previously, but was unclear as to how to go about offering, fills another gap that I had in our services. I guess the Universe was ready for the gap to be filled and so it asked me to turn left instead of right….and I have simply chosen to take that left turn rather than holding on to some idea that the right turn I originally planned on was the “right” choice.
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor