Decision making

Do you find it hard to make decisions, and end up going round and round in circles, sometimes paralysed into doing nothing??

Are you awake in the small hours thinking "but what if…., what if…., what if….."

I listened to an amazing interview with Matthew McConaughey this weekend, and he talked about the thing that keeps him up at night being

 Not knowing

He says when things happen in life, and we need to make a decision, we have 3 choices:

  1. Don't do anything
  2. Do it and fail
  3. Do it and succeed

Options 2 and 3 are both on us, and at least we know

Ages ago I read an article by palliative care giver, Bronnie Ware, who said people have 5 main regrets at the end of their lives, and one of these is "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me"

I know I've also heard the phrase "I'd rather regret what I did do than what I didn't do" - I forget who said it 🙄

It strikes me that all of these views are intertwined, but I really like the way Matthew McConaughey phrased it.


Lets look at his version of the choices


Don't do anything

Let's be honest, this is probably the easiest, and certainly the least uncomfortable. But there are downsides to it too - for a start we will never know what could have happened if we'd just plucked up the courage to do it.

There's also the fact that it leads to certain failure in whatever the potential outcome might have been, because we definitely won't get what we want without action…


Do it and fail

This is the reason most of us don't take action - fear of failure. It hurts! We question ourselves, our decisions, our choices, our actions…

But at least we know!

And once we’ve taken the action we have loads more information to do something with….

For a start, success rarely, if ever, comes first time of trying. What can we learn from this "failure", what tiny or major changes could we make and then decide to try again, and keep going until we reach success (whatever success means to us)

Or we might try it and find its really not for us - still a great learning!


Do it and succeed

And now we know!

And wow, see where this one little decision, to back ourselves and take courageous action, might lead!

What other new possibilities might open up for us?  What else have we learned through this action that we can grow and apply in other situations?


And we NEED TO KNOW because

Despite what most of us might think, success is a temporary feeling - we enjoy it when it happens,  but it soon becomes old, and we need more of it

So the courage and confidence we've grown from doing it and succeeding (or failing) will empower us to go on and do more and more and succeed (and fail) more and more….

And we get to the end of our lives and are not looking back with regrets, with what ifs, but with awe at the experiences we've had, who and what we've loved, and the things we've achieved along the way


I know the next time I come to a decision point,  I’ll be hearing Matthew in my head, taking a deep breath, backing myself, and making sure I KNOW what the outcome was

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