When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.
Take some time and really think about it.
Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.
You could also ask yourself questions like:
Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?
I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.
In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.
In challenging times it can be difficult to look to the future and think about all the possibilities. Your mind will be going round in circles and you’ll be asking yourself questions like:
How can I get there when there is all this stuff going on right now?
When you’re caught up in a challenging situation it can be hard to see past it, especially when you have no idea how you’ll overcome it.
But, if you start with believing you can figure things out and then try and work towards a solution, you might find that you’re more capable than you thought.
The plans you made a year ago, 6 months ago or even a few weeks ago may now be obsolete. You can time planning far in advance but when it comes to putting those plans into action, you never really know how things will go until you see the results.
Sometimes the results are as expected or better and other times the results are a learning curve, a growth point an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.
It can be disappointing when things don’t turn out as well as you’d hoped, you might feel like the time and effort you put in was wasted. In times like this it’s so important to not to dwell on what went wrong but instead to think about how you can move forward.
How can you improve?
How can you do things better?
What can you do differently?
Of course, going back to the drawing board is never part of the plan but if you use it as an opportunity to grow, experiment and explore, suddenly it might not seem so bad.
This is the way of the optimist.
It’s also worth remembering that even if things don’t turn out in the way that you consider to be ‘the best’, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
That way no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to roll with it with a little less resistance or resentment.
However, all of this means nothing unless you put it into practice.
The next time thing don’t turn out as you planned pay attention to your thoughts. Is your inner monologue deflated, is it going 101mph complaining about how life is unfair and nothing goes your way or is their acceptance of your current situation and thoughts on how to move forward?
It’ll almost always be easier.
Yet we often end up worrying about how wrong things went the first time and then history just ends up repeating itself.
And then we start to lose faith in our ability, thinking that things are impossible, that we are incapable.
The inner monologue gets carried away and you know exactly what that sounds like.
But what if the second time around we begin with a short reflection on the pros and cons of our previous approach and then create an outcome based action plan.
Taking a optimistic future oriented approach might just be more beneficial.