I have a really, really hard time making decisions.
Disclosure: This post is a little more personal than I normally get, so please be kind 🙂
Anything from what to eat at a restaurant (I’m normally that person who says, “We can order if I go last!”) to what to do for a major vacation, I will think and think about things until I drive myself nuts. And I’m sure it drives my friends and family nuts, too.
Recently I had such a hard time making a decision that I was seeking advice from my sisters, my husband, my two best friends, my mom… and when I asked for her advice, one of my best friends said to me, “You’ve been thinking about this a lot.” – which may not seem like a big deal, but it made me realize that I had. I had been putting SO MUCH energy into trying to make a decision that I was going around in circles – for what must have been a really long time when you piece it all together.
I’ve posted before about how to deal with travel anxiety, a major problem for me. I have a really hard time with travel, but for the most part I try not to let it affect my life. (And clearly I’ve done at least an okay job of that, as I made it to Thailand and back in one piece! AND had a great time!) When I count up the things I’ve been able to do and the trips I’ve gone on versus the things I’ve chosen not to do, the “things I have done” greatly outweigh the other list!
I was supposed to travel to New Orleans for my cousin’s wedding, and I ended up with a respiratory problem on Wednesday (and I was supposed to leave Thursday morning). I went to a doctor and was told that I could travel and “probably” be fine, but then the worrying started. One of my biggest fears is being far from home and being sick. So already being sick and looking at getting on a 4 hour flight? (Can I also add that Terence came down with the flu and was literally sleeping 20 hours a day for 3 days straight in the middle of this?)
Here’s the advice I got from my friend that I think is really worth sharing (maybe it will help you if you’re having a hard time making a decision!):
- Look at the bigger picture. Is this something that is going to matter in 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?
- Make a decision. (I’ve read that you should set a timer to 2 minutes. You can hem and haw all you want during those precious seconds ticking by, but when the timer goes off, you need to make a choice. A or B. Red or white. Salad or burger.)
- Announce your decision out loud to yourself.
- Write down why the decision is right for you.
There were a few factors making me question my decision to not go to the wedding. One was definitely FOMO (= fear of missing out, a serious issue! It’s that feeling you get when you have to go to a work dinner and check Instagram under the table to see all of your friends together at the Beyonce concert having the time of their lives. Serious FOMO.) because this trip was planned with my two sisters and our mom, and I would have loved to be there to see my cousin get married. And the other was the fear of upsetting other people. That’s a fear I’ve always had – I am going to go ahead and blame this on having gone to Catholic school my whole life (mea culpa!).
With my friend’s advice, I came to a decision. I called my mom and told her what was going on. I cancelled my flights. I sent my cousin an apology message. I fielded pleas from my sisters to suck it up and get on the plane. And I went to bed, slightly more relaxed than I was a few hours earlier.
One other piece of advice when you’re making a tough decision?
You are not here to please other people.
As a wise pal once said, “gotta look out for #1.” The only person who is truly going to look out for you is YOU. So if your decision is not going to be groundbreaking for anyone but yourself, make the decision that is going to be best for you.
Looking back, I’m glad I made the decision to stay home. 5 days later and I’m still sick, so who knows how I would have done flying/going to a wedding/doing touristy things/staying up late.
What do you do when you need to make a tough decision?