Decidophobia. Yep, there’s a word for it.
Remember when your teacher would call on you and you would freeze? Having the answer felt like a life or death situation. You didn’t trust yourself to say the right answer.
It’s crazy that we can be years out of school and still operate like there is a right or wrong answer. What is the right choice? Which is the best path? I don’t know!
For most of my life I approached big (and small) decisions like multiple choice questions that I could get wrong. I assumed there was always a right answer, and if I accidentally chose incorrectly, I would face repercussions. I learned to doubt myself.
The self-doubt was fed by three fears: 1) The fear of making the wrong choice 2) The fear of looking back with regret 3) The fear of looking stupid, naive or foolish. But even more frightening than the fear was the truth: There is no wrong choice.
What if life is a series of free choices,
not right or wrong
More of a field to run through
than a maze of correct and incorrect turns.
Most people prefer the validation of, “Good job! Right answer!” Courageous people prefer freedom over validation. They surrender the certainty of right versus wrong and choose the risk of freedom.
Amanda Cook paints the picture of surrendered self-trust in her song, Voyage: “What if the path you choose becomes a road The ground you take becomes a home The wind is high, but the pressure’s off I’ll send the rain wherever we end up, wherever we end up.”
There is no right or wrong choice, just a right attitude, an attitude of trust. No matter what choice you make, it is okay: “I’ll send rain wherever we end up.” The provision, safety, comfort, peace, will follow you wherever you go.
Self-trust feels less risky when we take it step by step. You can’t have all the answers. You can’t predict the future. You can’t avoid all repercussions. All you can do is to make the best decision you can given the information you have right now.
Trust (aka surrender) yourself enough to take one step at a time. The only repercussion is that you might take one step and then change your mind. In that case, you have the very next step to change directionand make a new decision.
This week’s mindfulness challenge is to trust yourself enough to take a step before you get the validation of someone else:
What answers are you waiting on?
What if there is no right answer, just a right attitude?
How would this affect your decision?