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I’ve been talking to a particular someone a lot lately, and the premise of our conversations have always been on how lost they feel in life. There’s other things we talk about, but this is by far the main topic. It’s slightly frustrating and baffling to me whenever we talk, because from an onlooker’s perspective the solution seems obvious. And then I realised the solution must be obvious for the person as well.

They just don’t want to, or feel ready to accept it. I empathise with them on how overwhelming life can feel at times. How hard it may be to take that leap of faith and accept uncertainty in your life. How you can feel helpless and not in control.

I get it. I genuinely do, because who hasn’t been in such situations or felt like that in life. But, solutions are solutions and you can never run forever. Life ALWAYS finds a way to catch up to you, and let me tell you now.

You rather meet life face on knowing exactly what you’re going to do, than have it catch up to you when you are unprepared.

And that’s why I wanted to talk about the importance of not being afraid to make tough decisions in your life.

(you can’t run away for ever)

A lot of people are uncomfortable with uncertainty, so much so, they’ll stay in a situation that is less than great because they’re afraid the alternative is even worse than the present. You see it everywhere, I’m sure you’ve been guilty of it yourself and know a whole laundry list of people that have done this as well.

We’re talking about the people that stay in jobs they hate. They stay at companies that undervalue them. They stay in relationships that go nowhere. They stay. We have all stayed in situations for longer than we should, some more than others, but we’ve all done it.

I’ve done it as well, and from my experience.

You rather meet life face on knowing exactly what you’re going to do, than have it catch up to you when you are unprepared.

It’s weird, but a lot of people are comfortable with their discomfort with life. The familiarity of it all, persuades countless people to stay where they are instead of making a change. They manage to convince themselves that trying to change will result in a worse situation. They can only focus on “what if, the result is worse than now” rather than “what if, I’m cheating myself out of a happy life because I’m unwilling to take a chance”.  It’s not that facing it head on is easy, or guarantees a desired result. Not the case at all.

It does however free you from the torment of not giving yourself a chance for a better alternative. It lifts a HUGE weight off your shoulders by dealing with a situation as early as possible, because that emotional and mental weight only gets heavier the longer you shoulder it. We all know this, and yet some of you out there fear uncertainty more than the undeniable fate of feeling more and more trapped in life the longer you try to run away.

So, let me tell you now.

Whatever you’re running away from, please stop and take a moment to recognise what you’re feeling and thinking isn’t an accurate depiction of the situation you’re in.

You do have options. You do have some control. You can do something about it. You do know what you need to do.

You just have to be brave enough and give yourself a chance. As long as you make a decision for yourself, you’re giving yourself some control over the possible outcome. But if you stay passive for the whole process until life decides to make the decisions for you, well, your current feelings of being trapped, helpless or powerless will become valid.

And that’s why making decisions and taking chances are important.

It’s about taking back control. Maybe it’s not as much as you wanted or thought you could have. Or it might not be the amount you’re use to having. Either way, taking steps to gain control over your life will always minimise the amount of stress, dread and negativity in your life. Taking control is a matter of being the one who calls the shots, which means you can’t shy away from making tough decisions.

Every decision is a fork in the road of life. It can be something as trivial as deciding what to eat to deciding to start your own business. They all take you down a path you chose for yourself.

Sometimes not making a decision for yourself is completely harmless. These tend to be the most common ones we face in our day to day, and this develops a habit of not making decisions in general. We get into this thought process of thinking it’s ok to not make a decision since someone else will do it for us and it has worked most of the time.

Dangerous territory guys.

You’re not to blame for this habit, we’ve all been brought up since young kids to not really make many decisions for ourselves. And we bring this habit into adulthood, not being taught how to be in control. Instead many of us fall back to our default set of actions when faced with big life impacting decisions.

  1. Understand you need to do something, but feeling in over your head for even attempting to do anything.
  2. Ignoring the situation, hoping it’ll go away by itself.
  3. Constantly in a state of stress because you can’t ignore it anymore.

Let’s look at each stage in more depth.

Understand you need to do something, but feeling in over your head for even attempting to do anything. 

There’s two parts to this stage. The first being the the acknowledgment of a problem or situation you need to handle. The second being your own emotional response to the situation, which is predominantly of self-doubt and worry.  There isn’t much we can do about the first part. Everyone is different and therefore at which point a person realises there’s a problem will always be different. But we can do something about the second part. How we respond once we acknowledge there’s a problem is very much something we can choose to control.

I’ve mentioned the link between, thought, feeling and behaviour in previous posts, and you guessed it. I’m going to mention it again here. A response is a behaviour, so common sense tells me that we need to take a step back to focus on how we’re feeling and what we’re thinking to manipulate our own behaviour.

Feeling in over your head is pretty much you saying “I have no confidence in myself to make this better”. It’s this lack of confidence that results in the second stage.

Ignoring the situation, hoping it’ll go away by itself. 

The feeling of not being capable leads to running away and being in a state of denial. The sad truth is, everyone knows they can’t run away but they can’t get rid of the feelings of not being able to handle the situation either. The result is a whole lot of mental and emotional turmoil you see in stage 3.

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Constantly in a state of stress because you can’t ignore it anymore.

Eventually, life catches up. At first it’s just in the horizon and then it’s breathing down your neck and when it gets near your neck you. are. stressed. out. It’s a horrible feeling, it eats at you day in and day out. Whatever the situation was, it’s now 100x worse. In your head. The whole thing feels impossible and you’re left paralysed because you feel even more in over your head at this point.

It’s pretty easy to see how toxic this is. Nothing about this is healthy and even though the solution is obvious, many people fail to take it up because of how they feel. The lack of confidence is a crazy wicked thing that can wreak havoc on your life. When you’re lacking in confidence, it makes you feel incapable of anything. Which is why you need to start boosting your confidence and take more chances.

Start making more decisions today. No matter big or small, just start making decisions and letting the world know what you want. Stop being passive about everything and you’ll find it’s not so hard. The more you do it, the more confident you get and the easier it gets. Before you know it, nothing seems like a tough decision. You won’t run away so easily or for nearly as long.

How amazing would life be if you had that confidence to take control and not run away? Think about all the things you would do if you just believed in yourself more. It’s not a crazy far off delusion, it’s a lot closer than you think. All you have to do is start making your own decisions.

So, let me give you a challenge. For the rest of today or maybe tomorrow if you’re reading this at night, try to answer and decide every decision that comes your way. Don’t brush it off. Don’t ignore it. Don’t just let someone else decide for you. Do it yourself. Make some decisions and don’t be afraid of what might happen afterwards.

P.S I’m loving gifs lately if you haven’t noticed…also feel free to save this to Pinterest or share this to anyone you know who needs to make a decision.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Really good post! I really love what you said here…”It’s weird, but a lot of people are comfortable with their discomfort with life. The familiarity of it all, persuades countless people to stay where they are instead of making a change. They manage to convince themselves that trying to change will result in a worse situation.” I have seen this to be so true! Pinning:)

    1. Thanks Miranda, yeah I think we all secretly know it, but not many want to admit it. Thanks for the pin!

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