Today, I listened as my brother stood his ground about a decision that was really hard for him to make. Like many other eighteen year olds, his first year of college was not what he planned on or dreamed about for years. Thus, like many others, he decided to defer for a semester – to work, save, and learn how to be an adult while the pandemic has it’s way with the world. Unfortunately, he was made to feel bad about his decision. He stood his ground and confidently listed the reasons why staying home felt the best for him right now. Truthfully, he grew up right in front of my eyes right then and he taught me a little something about being proud of your decisions.
Nothing is promised to you in this life. There’s nothing that we’ve learned more clearly in a global pandemic than that lesson. Honestly, it makes being indecisive a little easier when you feel like a lot is riding on virtually every decision that you make. I mean, sure it might just be what we’re having for dinner but what if the love of my life is at the OTHER place. Yes, that’s dramatic; however, you get the point.
For a majority of my life, I’ve absolutely not been good at making decisions. I really dislike disappointing people and I don’t want to be the one to blame if things go wrong. I eventually learned that it’s a little thing called Social Anxiety that inhibits making decisions that involve others. As my mental health got worse, I was indecisive because I didn’t want the attention to be on me. It was the perfect storm.
There comes a time, though, that you have to start making decisions. If not for everyone in the room, at least for yourself. You can make them and think about all the things that could have been. Or, you can make them and be content in the decision that you made.
What Could Have Been
I’m sure we all have a moment in our life that we would take back if we could. I’ve absolutely said things that should never have come out of my mouth. I have also dated men that were just plain old bad to me. I’ve gone back to men that were bad to me.
Honestly, a lot of the poor decisions that we make come from a lack of confidence in our own decision making ability. We seem to second guess ourselves and think of all the things that “should’ve, would’ve, or could’ve” happened. Things definitely would have turned out differently, but better? Nobody will ever know. Nothing is promised in this life. Spending your time wishing you’d gone with another decision rather than leaning into the one you’ve already made seems like a BIG waste of time.
Mistake Versus Decision
I made the conscious decision to go back to men that were not treating me very nicely. Even when I talk about it now, I don’t think that I’d change it. Some part of me needed to learn what I was worth through heartbreak and a bunch of tears. Saying something that you don’t mean, however, is a mistake. Like, decision-making, it’s important to come to terms with your mistakes, take responsibility, and move the eff on! There’s nothing worse, however, than someone standing by a mistake as if it was a decision they consciously made.
For example, if you’re wrong about information you said and a friend calls you out on it. Unless you preemptively planned on spreading false information, it was a mistake. You don’t have to stand your ground to be right when you make a mistake. All the cool kids are saying sorry about behavior, thoughts, and actions that aren’t right these days – get with it!
Being Proud of Your Decisions
I watched Sullivan tell a person of authority from his school his truth. He was proud of his decision to take a beat. He knows that though it’s not right for everyone, it’s what’s right for him. Making decisions that are best for you, your mental health, finances, or just your happiness feels good! You are allowed to feel good.
It can be as simple as, “I don’t want to do that.” Decisions don’t have to be made resentfully or in haste. Giving yourself power and autonomy in sticking to them can greatly increase your quality of life – not to mention the quality of those you surround yourself with! So, what’s are YOU deciding for YOU today?
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