Choices, choices. There are so many to be made on a daily basis. Some are fairly benign like what to have for dinner, how much to tip the waiter, which shirt to buy, or what movie to watch.
Then there are the bigger, more consequential choices. The one’s that could take days, weeks or even months to make. Whether to leave a relationship, buy or rent a house, or deciding whether to have children make picking a move theater seat seem easy.
I have also seen many choices made unconsciously. I categorize these choices as the ones that usually come with explanations like “I didn’t realize” or “I don’t know how it happened”.
These choices don’t seem like choices at the time, but they have consequences just the same. An infidelity, a drunken night, speeding, and eating a whole box of cookies may be regrettable acts, but they are choices just the same.
Some people make choices more easily than others, and some choices are simply harder to make.
Choice lives very closely with ambivalence, which is ultimately a state of indecision. This window of time between choosing and deciding can be short or eternal depending on a couple of factors.
1. Your tolerance for risk
2. Your tolerance for making mistakes
Whenever you’re presented with a choice you will ultimately have a consequence. Sometimes a good one, and often a bad one.
Realizing that you make small choices every day will give you the courage to make the bigger ones. Understanding that any choice you make will bring you to resolution will allow you to move through the process more easily.
Learning to accept you can’t avoid the consequences that come with choice, and understanding that a lack of choice is worse than any outcome you could have should propel you through the ambivalence of indecision.
Being conscious of the fact that everything you do involves choice even if it doesn’t seem like it will help you deal with challenging situations.
When you feel stuck or trapped and don’t know what to do remind yourself that you have a choice. It may not be one you want to make, and you may not like the consequence, but it’s still your choice.
Choice is power and it offers freedom.
Be grateful for your ability to make choices and make them wisely…and if you don’t, let your wrong choices teach you.
And don’t forget the biggest one you make every day.
The choice to live.
Dr. Andra Brosh November 3rd, 2014