I remember being paralyzed as a teen/young adult by trying to figure out the “right” decision, “so much so I’d be in tears. I’d repeat to myself, “I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to do!” Most decisions felt detrimental to my future success or consequently, failure. My faith also played into this process. Doing “God’s will” was so important to me. If I wasn’t 100% certain that choosing “A” versus “B” was God’s will, I could’t make the choice.
Certainty is a funny thing. The more and more I grow, the more and more I am tolerant and accepting of uncertainty. It doesn’t bother me as it once did. I think there are many factors that play into this. I embrace the fact that I don’t know everything. That, I could, and will be “wrong” from time to time. Me being certain, on some level, implies I have all the information. So, when I was worrying myself sick about choosing“A” versus “B” in my teens/twenties, I thought I knew everything that I needed to. Information is always changing and growing. Iremember sitting in therapy one time, getting so upset at the concept that how we were doing therapy may not be how we’d be doing it in 10-15 years. That perhaps, a more effective way could emerge. Of course ongoing and future research will reveal more as it evolves with time. Can you imagine if it didn’t?
Uncertainty made me doubt. Not only myself, but the people and life processes around me. Does doubt have to play into the equation though? Could it be possible to accept uncertainty as just uncertainty, taking “right” and “wrong” out of the equation? I’m not saying throw all caution into the wind (although, that’s not always a negative thing), making impulsive decisions. Still take into account logic and rational, balancing the emotion, when decision making. It’s really hard to move forward if we never take the first step. A lot of life is what you make it of. There will aways be things that come our way that is out of our control. Just remember, in those experiences, we usually have a measure of control with how we react to it.
Experiment a little this week. When you catch yourself in those moments of “I don’t know what to do”, take a step back, balance the emotion with some rational (perhaps this involves talking with a therapist or trusted confident), and then take a step. Whatever happens, there will be more steps to take after that. Not everything in life is determined by that one decision. Happy decison making!