Are you one of those people who don’t trust their judgment because you ‘always’ make poor choices?
Of course, the first thing I would challenge is the use of the word ‘always’ but, even if you’re disappointed just some of the time with the outcome of your choices, it’s still a shame.
Many of us don’t even realise we’re making choices; often it’s just a knee-jerk reaction. Other times we may go ahead regardless, without thinking whether this particular choice is the right one for us.
What kind of choices do you make? It can be anything from the kind of food you choose to eat, which you might like in the short term but which is highly likely to cause chaos to your health in the longer term, all the way to your choice of work or partner.
Sometimes people are forced into choices they know will not be good for them but feel helpless to resist. A choice that will be familiar to older people is when the family is worried because you live on your own and they put pressure on you to move in with them.
Sometimes the family lives in another part of the country and the older person who tried to resist will lose their friends, their home and their support system. The things we do in the name of love!
Making good choices
So how can you improve the ratio of good as opposed to poor choices?
Many of us live in the fast lane, running just to stand still. Pressures, expectations and demands pelt us from all directions and life can feel hectic. A common survival technique is to just give in to others for the sake of a little peace and quiet.
Not only that, some of our choices are for the benefit of others, so it’s not surprising that we lose touch and forget what matters to us the most.
It is essential that you know what that is because, when you figure it out, you will be able to make choices that genuinely work for you at all levels – practical, emotional and spiritual.
I had a client once who wanted to work with me because she needed to make a decision and wanted to make it from a positive space rather than pressure, which she knew would then be followed by resentment to the detriment of her relationship with her family.
She was a senior woman and had just been offered promotion. At the same time, her husband had also just been offered a major opportunity which meant moving to another country. She had a young child and felt pulled and pushed in all directions.
This was a wise woman indeed. She knew how important it was to make choices that worked for her too, not just her family.
Finding a balance
When we know what’s truly important to us we are able to make choices and decisions that meet our deepest needs and wants because our actions are aligned with our values.
The point is that, to live a truly happy life, we need to know what matters to us the most, what makes us jump out of bed and look forward to the day ahead. Every one of us has different priorities and dreams and, when we know what’s really important to us, we’re able to make choices and decisions that are in harmony with it.
This is vital to the quality of our life and relationships, and the satisfactory outcome of most of our decisions and choices.
Talking it through
You may be one of those people who, like me, finds it helpful to process things by talking to friends, people you trust, instead of running things around in your own head. The purpose of talking with others is not necessarily so they can come up with some pearl of wisdom, but so you can hear the pearls of wisdom that come out of your own mouth.
Listen to them; most people don’t. Record your insights in a journal or notebook.
To mis-quote Camus, philosopher and writer: ‘There’s no happiness if the things we do are different from the things we believe in.’
When was the last time you wondered what that is?