I don’t know about you but there have been many times in the past when I just didn’t know what choice to make. I would second guess myself after I made a choice and then go back on it. Or I would decide on something and become fearful that I’d made the wrong decision.
It got to the point where I’d get so anxious I just decided to go along with whatever anybody else wanted. I had lost my capacity to choose.
Sometimes this problem is related to
earlier overwhelming experiences of abuse, bullying or manipulation where a person’s boundaries are overridden so they have lost the strength to say “No”. Sometimes a person just grows up in an environment where choices were always made for them. Sometimes it’s the result of a big decision that turned out disastrously. There are obviously other reasons as well.
For me it was a combination of all of these but mostly the later. In my second year of university I had auditioned for and been accepted at one of the most respected acting theatre schools in Canada, the National Theatre School. It was a major accomplishment and recognition for me. But I had fallen in love with a pretty girl in university and decided to pursue that relationship instead of attending the theatre school. Despite her profession of love, when I returned the next semester I found she was dating another guy. I was heartbroken and I had lost an incredible opportunity.
After that I had a hard time making decisions. I decided I was always going to screw-up.
Using Backward Thinking.
Years later I began to examine my inability to choose and discovered I created the problem using forward thinking and I could solve it using backward thinking. I realized that as a result of that major “bad” decision, I had created a belief prediction that any other major decision I made was always going to turn out terrible in the future, so wouldn’t make decisions (forward thinking) in the present.
I realized that if I was going to rehabilitate my decision making capacity I needed to change this. Instead of struggling to make major decisions, I would make small inconsequential everyday determinations and then look backward afterwards and examine if the small decision turned out. I would decide which street to drive down, which piece of fruit to buy, the right time to go for a walk, take a break, call a friend, etc and then at the end of the day I’d look back at the results of my choices.
What happened was I started to have more wins than losses, I started to develop my intuition and my confidence came back. Gradually I become more confident in making bigger choices.
The Universal Standard
The other major breakthrough was an awakening experience I had on a Coming Home retreat. I realized what I call the Co-evolutionary nature of life: that we collectively expand our consciousness as the result of each individual relating to one another. (read more about this here: Co-evolution) I saw that this was the underlying dynamic of life. It was going on incrementally in every single interaction at all times with each individual as we communicate to them. It is the spiritual fabric of life.
I began to use this understanding as the universal standard to make decisions. I would ask myself with any difficult decision: “What choice here would help expand the awareness and wisdom of myself and others” and then I would make a decision within that context.
So if I had a choice to choose to buy a some organic food or junk food, I would choose to buy the organic food because it contributed to the upliftment of myself and organic farmers. I found myself feeling more in harmony with the natural flow of life as a result.
So if this is an issue you are dealing with here’s a summary of the tips.
To recover your choice:
- Make small inconsequential choices everyday
- At the end of each day take stock of which choices turned out right.
- Congratulate yourself for the good choices
- Whenever you have a difficult choice to make use the “Universal Standard” i.e. “Which choice will contribute to the expansion of consciousness of myself and others”.
I hope this helps. If it does leave me a comment below... and even better pass this on to others.
Be you to fullness
If you like this article you might like:
How We Are Unfolding to Each Other