Many people feel a lot of anxiety when it comes to making decisions.
I’ve written quite a few posts about the anxiety that can be felt around making decisions, choosing pathways and picking between different options.
One of my beliefs when it comes to making decisions that I created a few years ago is that, either way things will turn out fine. It’s not a case of there being a good and bad option but instead choosing a path or experience.
That’s something I would say to anyone picking between two options but I also like to remind myself of that when I have to make choices.
There are some situations where it might seem like there is a clear good option, let’s say for example it is the choice to spend the day at home or have a day out in in a new city.
Your initial thought may be that staying home is boring and going out is the obvious choice. However, maybe when you stay home you end up doing a bunch of things that you’ve been putting off for weeks or months. You end up decluttering your space, tidying up and just refreshing your space so that feels a little more vibrant and a little more you.
Perhaps if you choose to go out, you’ll end up seeing some cool places, spend time with friends and eat some good food. So, either way you still have a good day.
The idea of things turning out fine no matter which option you choose came from the fact that making choices can often be difficult and I wanted to find a way to make it easier. My fear was always making the wrong decision and so I’ve worked to find a way to eliminate that and suddenly making around decisions isn’t as difficult as it used to be.
Why do people accept less than they truly desire?
I think it comes from a lack of belief that you can attain the things that you want. Instead of being clear and saying no, you say yes because you don’t believe there is any other choice.
I think the fact that deep inside you know exactly what you want is enough of a reason to follow through with that in life. You think the opportunity to have what you really want isn’t there and so you settle for less. But I think that maybe the truth is that you don’t hold the desire of what you want strongly and clearly for long enough for the right opportunity to come along.
Instead you give up and tell yourself something like, ‘Well, I can’t have what I really want so I’ll find something else that is another version of what I really want’.
In order to go from accepting less to accepting more, you have to change your beliefs.
And that could be through daily affirmations, meditations or even just forcing yourself to hold out for that little bit longer instead of settling like you usually do.
One of the mistakes we often make is thinking that there is only one solution to every problem. And so, when the way a person chooses to solve a problem does not match up with what we believe the solution to be we can end up being critical and telling them they are wrong.
In these cases, what we are actually doing is forcing our beliefs, opinions and perceptions onto other people. The reality more often than not is that you and this person perceive things differently, it’s not that anyone is wrong or right.
I think that this is something worth remembering. A lot of people find it so easy to be critical of others and tell them what they should or shouldn’t have done.
But the truth is, it’s simply a matter of perception.
I’m a big believer in creativity, in art and in making things.
That’s the thing that has always been my joy in life.
It’s not something that I do for a living or get paid for. However, I value it just as much, if not more than my day job.
It feels special to make things, to work my hands to allow something to be transformed into something else.
I don’t think I’ve been doing that enough lately. I’ve had small moments here and there but not enough consistency.
That’s what I’m missing right now, immersing myself in making, creating and using my hands.
It’s more important than you might have considered.
When it comes to your opinions, beliefs and life plans, you have to be willing to change your mind.
You never want to be so set in your ways that you close yourself off to other options.
Sometimes when you’re so committed to what you know, it feels too difficult (or requires more effort than you’re willing to give) to change your mind. And so you hide away from information that could change your perception.
Or maybe you hide away from learning about what you could do to change your life path. You do this because once you know it’s possible for things to be better you’ll end up miserable if you never do anything about it. Yet you end up staying stagnant because you’re not willing to change your mind about the path you want to be on.
Change comes with risk and sometimes we choose security or familiarity over happiness.
There are good arguments to support both sides.
On one hand perhaps you should lower your expectations because they’re too high. Examples of this could be expecting to earn £50,000 as a graduate with no experience or expecting a friend to reduce their rates even though you know the quality of their work will be more than worth it.
Then on the other hand, a reason not to lower your expectations is because you don’t want to get into the habit of settling. I think there’s a fine line between knowing what you want and expecting too much. Knowing what you want is great. Believing that it is possible to have more than you have right now even though it might take time is a pretty fantastic thing.
One of the most common reasons that people lower their expectations is because they allow the thoughts and opinions of others to convince them that what they want is unrealistic.
If that is the case, it might be worth being more selective about who you get advice from and who you choose to listen to.
One thing perhaps not thought about often enough is that there is only a small percentage of the population that have a real understanding of science.
The rest of us simply trust what is said or what we read and choose to believe it to be true.
Or on the flipside there are those that choose to form their own opinions.
But this can often lead to a clash between those that choose to beleive and trust in something that they don’t understand and those that don’t.
This isn’t about conspiracies or trying to disprove scientific theory. Instead it is about simply acknowledging that it can be difficult to trust something that you don’t understand.
It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.
Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.
It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.
But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.
Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.
But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.
It’s really easy to say, ‘That’s just how I am’.
Some people even use that as a way to justify continually being unkind to others or even themselves.
But the beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to change and overcome.
I recently wrote about not feeling good enough, something I struggled with for years.
As a result of feeling that way I created a life that I was unhappy with and I became someone who self-sabotaged, had little self-belief and would constantly settle for less. Furthermore, I struggled to stand up for myself.
Once I stopped passively accepting those parts of me as just the way things are, I realised that things could be different, things could be better. I also realised that I was capable of changing my own life.
At the time I didn’t feel capable and it was hard to imagine what things would be like if they were different but I started to believe it was possible.
My personal development and growth was an active change that I worked for and continue to work on.
This sort of thing is really at the crux of the message I want to share on this site. What I want for you to take away from this is you that don’t have to accept the way things are.
Sometimes we trick ourselves into accepting things that we don’t want. We make excuses and convince ourselves that we’re so totally content with our current circumstances.
This happens for a variety of reasons but a major factor is our core beliefs. If you don’t think there is something better out there for you then will always settle even if that means being perpetually unhappy.
The wake up call that you’re not as happy as you think will come when you least expect it. Perhaps you will encounter someone or something that represents what you really want. Then suddenly you find yourself wondering how you could have ever thought that you were happy with what you had accepted.
It’s like clearing the colour from your rose tinted classes and finally seeing things as they are.
A great way to stop yourself accepting less is to check in with yourself regularly. When you’re not where you should be you can end up getting so used to the anxiety that you don’t even realise that it’ there until you leave
Make a note of what you want in different areas of your life and think about how it would feel.
Lets say you moved into a tiny apartment in a neighbourhood you don’t like but you tell yourself you’re happy because you’re saving money and you don’t even spend much time at home anyway. That’s you convincing yourself that you’re okay with not feeling comfortable in your local area and that you don’t want to spend time at home.
But if the notes you make on what you want from your home and how you want to feel don’t align with your reality then you might want to make some changes. That might mean paying a little more to be in an area, in a bigger apartment or both.
That’s the power of checking in, it allows you to identify whether the life you’re creating is the life you actually want.