Could Making Tough Choices Be A Gift?
You may think that making difficult choices is a problem to be solved. But what if it is an amazing opportunity that we have been gifted?
In the 1990s, psychologist Thomas Gilovich provided evidence for why it can be shortsighted to not make a difficult decision. He demonstrated that although, in the short term, people experience more regret from ‘errors of commission’—taking an action that leads to a disappointing outcome,—in the long term it is actually ‘errors of omission’ that lead to more regret—that is, disappointing outcomes that arise from not taking an action.
When we look at our belief systems, we examine what we think, and identify the source of our thoughts and beliefs. Are they are our own or were they planted in our mind, and by whom? Can we then pay attention to what we feel in our heart and tap into our intuition to form our beliefs and make healthy decisions?
This shift helps us develop a practice of listening to our hearts rather than following outside forces that may not be aligned with where we are today and the choices we’d love to make. It allows us to strengthen our ability to recognize our responsibility to make choices for our health and well-being.
The decisions we make now determine how we experience life and we are in a time of transition when we are being asked to make choices. Every person on this planet is in the midst of a transformative time, at some level, whether we are aware of it or not. We can continue to support collapsing systems and unhealthy practices or question them and by letting go, open ourselves to possibilities and truly see that these are not tough choices but healthy ones.
A remarkable young woman I know made some hard choices for herself and her two boys in the midst of the pandemic and slowly is owning her power, at her own pace. The story is not as important as the impression and ripples it has created in living from her heart and the impact it makes in the choices these young men will make by watching their mother be true to herself.
These are intense times of change and uncertainty. Never before have we been asked to make choices and decisions at a time when so many people are trying to tell us what is right or wrong. We can get bogged down in arguments over theories of what is going on in our chaotic world, or not. Divisiveness and judgment are all around us. But when we own our choices, we can slowly move away from the divisions and make choices about our personal health and well-being. This is a time not to be seduced by anyone claiming to know what is best for us.
And, there are no quick fixes. We are being asked to trust ourselves and follow the guidance of our inner compass in these unpredictable and shifting times.
Taking Responsibility for Making Tough Choices
We are increasingly finding ourselves at the intersection of authority meeting personal responsibility. It is a growing awareness that you are responsible for yourself and that you are a powerful creator of your life. When you begin to question everything, you start seeing this intersection come to life as you take responsibility for the choices you make without the need to conform or comply with an authority figure outside yourself.
Our hearts give us permission to imagine. And human beings have been gifted an incredible ability to imagine. By imagining, we move away from limiting our scope and seeing possibilities. When you are facing a tough choice that has two or three options, you might not see that there is one more option available to you unless you imagine what’s truly possible.
George Bernard Shaw shares, “She did not know then that imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”
2022 is the year of choices and our ability to practice discernment and I keep reminding myself and you that we are living in one of the most exciting times in human history that allow us to trust our heart. We get plenty of opportunities to practice and no one is spared.