Decision-making Made Easier

Decisions and actions are two completely different things. You can decide,  but that doesn’t mean a call to action. In other words, you can form an opinion, make up your mind, and leave it at that. You don’t have to do anything about it. If you do, the time frame is completely under your control. Read this paragraph again. It sounds simple. But for some reason we are conditioned to think that if we make up our mind, we immediately have to act. We don’t. These are two separate steps. Isn’t that a relief?

Now that the difference is clear, we can relax. We can get clear on where we stand, yet continue living with whatever it is just the way it is: a dead-end job, a ‘not the one’ relationship, not liking where you live, etc.  Doing something about it is another step. Let’s take deciding your job is taking you nowhere. You’ve analyzed and made your decision: it won’t offer the possibilities you thought. But when you start looking elsewhere and when you decide to leave is something else entirely. So don’t pressure yourself.

Why wait?

decision making and taking action
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

You’re allowed to take your time, it’s called integrating. You get used to how you feel about your decision. You try on that new reality, see if it feels comfortable, how it looks on you. Maybe you make some alterations or try on some new decision altogether. It was, at a time, called ‘toying with the idea’.

I know this sounds counterintuitive. Isn’t this procrastination, fear, or indecisiveness? And the ever classic: what’ll people think? But here’s the thing. We’re so conditioned to decide and act, in succession, that we avoid taking a good honest look at ourselves, our lives, because if we see something we don’t like we feel compelled to do something about it. So we just avoid the whole thing. ‘If I don’t see it, I won’t have to do anything about it.’

Then, we don’t know how we feel or where we stand because we have our blinders on tight. Again, because we think we have to do something about it. Then, when we can’t take it anymore, we react. A reaction is acting in relation to a person or a situation. It isn’t an action based on your decision because you haven’t formed a mindset, much less chosen the time or place. Do you see the power shift here? Rather than acting on your decision, based on knowing where you stand, you get caught out, not really sure how you feel or what to do. It can take on huge proportions and happen in the wrong place. It can be damaging. You don’t need that.

As for worrying about being seen as someone who can’t walk the talk, well, here’s the secret: don’t tell anyone. Just make up your mind and keep it to yourself. Until you act, it’s all a concept anyway. And you may change your mind.

Taking Your Time Makes You Stronger

Don’t prevent yourself analyzing and thinking about situations that bother you. Because the more you know what’s working and what’s not, the clearer your mindset will be. You will be strong and efficient when you’re ready to make your move.

You can decide your marriage is over (heavy example, I know). It doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it. Nothing, not a thing. You could just sit with your idea. Getting used to it, mourning perhaps, devising a strategy, hoping (I wanted to write wallowing in hope, but hey, hope is good) wallowing in self-pity (that works, and a little wallowing never hurt).

And remember not doing anything is a course of action. Sometimes it’s the hardest. Especially being fully aware of the situation. That takes strength and patience. And maybe you decide and leave it at that. You don’t have to act. Ever. Deciding to do nothing is deciding. But if you have to start by having a long thorough look at whoever or whatever you are involved with, and that includes yourself.

Image: Jez Timms on Unsplash