Few decisions that we make are truly permanent.
I know that, for me at least, on more than one occasion I either made no choice, procrastinated about, or did not fully commit to a decision. Why? Because what if I made the wrong one?
This is why recognizing that few decisions we make are truly permanent is so important to really living our lives.
No matter how much I work on being mindful, and aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions, it is only a portion of what it takes to do pretty much anything and everything. Conscious or subconscious, the reality we create and live in will be based on choices we decide upon every single day.
Because of the fear of making the wrong decision, a lot of us go through life indecisively. Trouble is, when we allow that to be our reality, we tend to only get partway along any path we choose to travel upon.
Why? Because probably the most important action in any given thought-feeling-action trifecta is the underlying decision.
For example, let’s say that I desire to move to England. That’s the thought, the idea at the beginning. Getting excited about this, basking in how it will feel to make such a drastic, transatlantic move is the obviously the feeling. The action would be, say, buying a ticket to England.
But I have to decide to take that action. If I become indecisive about it, I am moving nowhere.
Decisions are not scary unless we let them be
We choose to make decisions every single day. We decide to get out of bed, eat breakfast, go to work, sit on the couch and watch TV or read a book, and so on. Little things that matter, and that we frequently take completely for granted.
When it comes to bigger decisions, like taking or quitting a job, moving somewhere new, getting married or divorced — this can be scary. There are all kinds of “what if” scenarios we play out in our heads, as well as concerns about the impact on not only ourselves, but the people in our lives. It can be easily overwhelming, which in turn causes us to become indecisive, or to make no decision at all.
Why is this so overwhelming? Because the consequences of a wrong decision can feel pretty steep. What’s more, we often tend to create in our anticipation of these consequences far worse situations than may actually occur.
There is always a choice to be made, but decisions belong to us alone. Of course, many of the decisions we can make will have an impact on other people, but except in specific instances, we cannot control that. In particular on the emotional level.
Yet I know that I still have found many of my decisions over the years were scary in some way or other. I was so worried about deciding wrong and not being able to fix it that I hedged my bets, or made no real decisions.
Choices we decide upon are not permanent
Overall, the decisions we make are not permanent. Yes, there are exceptions to this, such as deciding to cut off a limb, end your life, or murder another person and such. Once those bells are rung, they can’t be unrung.
Notwithstanding, the vast majority of our decisions lack permanence. The primary issue boils down to ease or difficulty in changing them.
Another consideration is that you cannot undo them. For some reason, we frequently seek out ways to undo this thing or that. Truth is, despite the non-linear reality of time, you can’t undo what you have done.
But you can always do something new. You can make a new choice, a new decision, and carry on from there.
For example — ending a relationship, whether a break-up, annulment, divorce, or what-have-you, is a completely separate decision from the one you made to enter into that relationship. You are not undoing the decision to be in the relationship, you are deciding to get out of it.
This can also be applied to jobs, ownership of cars and homes and such, as well as where you live, what you wear, how to style and color your hair, and so on. Decisions made before cannot be unmade, but you can make new decisions.
What happens when you make the wrong decisions?
Very few decisions are life-or-death. Certainly some are, and by that same reasoning some decisions are largely irrevocable and permanent. But the vast majority of decisions made are changeable. They are impermanent, and can be transformed.
How? By choosing to make a new decision. It might be opposite that which you made before…or it might be utterly and completely different. But you can change from one thing to another by employing a new decision.
When we make a wrong decision — and we will, because that’s a huge part of human nature — what generally happens is less consequential than our fears and beliefs about what may happen. The amount of shame, hurt, upset, anger, and various other negative outcomes of a wrong decision are usually less in practice than they are in anticipation.
I am not denying here that some wrong decisions will have an impact on others. Bad financial investments can hurt whole communities; contentious marriages can tear families apart; telling the hero to cut the red wire instead of the blue may blow up the bomb; yet overall you will emerge on the other side. Maybe bruised and battered, perhaps wiser, but you will have the opportunity to make more decisions on the other side of wrong ones.
Yet it is an imperative factor in living the fullest lives we can that we make decisions. It’s good to overcome the fear of making wrong decisions, and not being paralyzed by indecision. Consciousness creates reality when we use our thoughts, feelings, and decide on actions to live the lives we most desire to.
Don’t be afraid. Choose to be decisive.
What decisions, big or small, will you make today?
Originally published at titaniumdon.com on March 27, 2019.