When Staying is the Best Liberating Decision

road-less-traveled

Indecision. Weighing the options. Confusion. Too many choices.

Do you struggle with making decisions? Worrying that you’ll make a wrong decision. Or, do you make hasty decisions? Hopping jobs, relationships, or parenting techniques. Your decisions don’t last. Whether our decisions are quick or labored, decision making can be frustrating instead of liberating.

I make all kids of decisions. I have decisions that I have put off making for years. Then, I have years that I make a lot of decisions and big changes.

I have a habit of picking up little side jobs when my practice gets low. I take on jobs that fall in my lap, even when I’m not looking for them. Then, my practice picks up and I’m overloaded. Too much to do, not enough time.

I want to make decisions based on interest more than on discomfort. I want to be moving toward something rather than running from something. When do we move on and when do we stay the course?

Get Unstuck with the High Interest Test

We want to make decisions that lead to long-lasting change. What helps us make these kind of decisions?

A pro-con list elicits pluses and minuses for each choice. Typically, if the benefits outweigh the costs you decide to move on. So, why do we get so stuck in some decisions and not others?

I think sometimes looks can be deceiving. For instance, we may make decisions based on short term discomfort instead of long-term interests. When you peel away the fear and discomfort, are you really interested in this choice?

Are you making your decision based on interest or discomfort? Only you know what’s best for you – what you can change, what you can tolerate, and what you can learn.

Be Liberated When You Decide to Stay

If you decide staying the course is the best choice for you, embrace the learning that decisiveness can bring.

Learn

What does decision making tell you about yourself? When I’m stressed, I daydream. My mind wanders to how life may be greener somewhere else. My daydreams are often detours. It can be calming to daydream, but it often leads me astray from what I can work on.

Observe

Now, I observe the journey. Watching my path unfold. I don’t plan every detail of my life. I know what I enjoy the most. And, I know what I’d like to keep learning. I make the starting point and let the rest of the path unfold: “to write and see where it takes me.” What helps you enjoy the journey?

Simplify

I’m less productive if my focus is divided. When my brain is trying to go in too many directions, it gets sluggish and distracted. I’m not going to cram in as much as possible. Instead I’m going to be the best at who I am.

Define

Can you define your life goal in one sentence? For me, it’s “coaching people to reach their goals through the power of choices.”. When I’m tempted to divide my focus, I validate my choice to stay the course. If the new option doesn’t match my life goal, I don’t move on .

Embrace

Once you find yourself, embrace it. Don’t fear who you are. You may not have all the answers. But you have a lifetime to learn. Align with what you really love to do. And, if the best choice is to stay the course, improve on what you already know.

For me, this year I am going to stay the course by:

  • Moving toward life, rather than away from discomfort.
  • Letting go of detours and distractions.
  • Watching life unfold instead of having all the answers.
  • Embracing who I am instead of trying to be someone I’m not.

What decisions are you struggling with? Please share what helps you be more decisive, not just in the moment but in the long run.

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Photo Credit: Simon Sterg

8 responses to “When Staying is the Best Liberating Decision

  1. Full of wisdom as always!
    I filled in your questionnaire and would love to contribute a ‘story’ to this site, if it would be appropriate, Marci.
    It’s hard to make any decision unless we know what we want. Sometimes it’s best to make the decision not to choose. That usually works for me because it takes away the pressure. Then the path becomes clearer.

    • Linda, too kind 🙂 And, yes, feel free to email me your “choices” story. It can be on almost any topic, showing how small steps have created big changes over time in your life. I look forward to it. I spell out more details on the “your choices” page.

      Yes, when there is less urgency, then the calm can return to help clear the way.

      Making a decision to let go/stay is really knew for me. I think it was important to do it, instead of circle around it.

  2. Hi Marci. Deciding to stay or go is often a huge inner battle!!! Your view point of looking at both the long run and the immediate is a great way to gain perspective.
    I love these two guidelines:
    “Moving toward life, rather than away from discomfort.”
    “Letting go of detours and distractions.”

    It takes looking at the situation from a couple of angels to gain the necessary clarity. Sometimes we desire the benefits of “staying” and the benefits of “leaving” and it become a big blur.

    • Thank you for visiting Aileen. And, yes, decisions can become pretty blurry, especially the more anxious I get about making them. It’s helped me to have some guidelines to follow to help me become more decisive. But, it is always a work in progress.

  3. I find the kind of choices I’m least happy with are those made due to external pressures rather than from my own perspective. When my decision is a confluence of what’s right for me based on my judgment, I know it’s one I can live with and won’t regret.

  4. Hi Marci,
    This is well thought out and written. My unhappy choices come from being lazy. When my children lived at home I mostly did the right thing and set a good example. Now I get lazy and comfortable…