Big Decisions Part III: No One Else Can Decide For You
This life is all yours, and the decisions you face are yours to make. Making a huge decision can be a very isolating experience, but also extremely liberating. Here are some ways to break free from everyone else's two cents for a moment and find clarity in what is important for you, in the context of your life.
I had always known that someday I would be a mother. I wanted to have two children because, being an only child myself, I had always admired the family dynamics amongst siblings, especially the ones who were protective, caring, and close. And so as I grew into a young woman and explored relationships with different men I would often ask myself: “how would we parent our children?” This question became a useful guideline for me to compare our value systems and aspirations, and inevitably, also often marked the beginning of the end of the relationship as I would discover that he was not “THE” one.
After turning thirty, and after a few heartbreaks and dating setbacks, I was strongly considering artificial insemination and becoming a single mother, because I knew time was running out. That is when I met Dennis, the absolute love of my life. It was the kind of encounter that was serendipitous, unquestionable. I knew that we were meant to be together. I felt like I had finally found the missing piece, the home I wanted so badly. The only conundrum was that Dennis could not, and did not want to, have any more children. And so I faced a decision I never thought I would have to make: To have a life of love with my soul mate, or to have a child, without the love of my life.
No One Else Can Decide for You
Although I alleviated my loneliness by seeking other people’s opinions, I ran into a hard truth at some point when I was trying to decide between Dennis and a child: No one else could decide this for me. Not even Dennis. Although I had received some good advice from others, I eventually had to sit down and figure it all out.
So, how do you figure it all out? Start by asking yourself the following questions:
• Why is it that I would decide one way or the other?
• What would each choice accomplish in my life?
• What is the worst thing that could happen when I don’t choose one or the other option?
• Is there a way I can mitigate this fear?
Coming clear on your deepest dreams, desires, and fears and putting them down on paper makes them easier to deal with going forward.
For example, if you are trying to decide whether to leave your partner, what is the driving force behind this decision to begin with? Why would you choose to stay? Why would you choose to leave? What would staying and leaving accomplish in your life? What would be the worst scenario of choosing one way or the other… being stagnant in your life versus being alone, being in a loveless state versus never finding love, being safe and unfulfilled versus being free, but also risking being unfulfilled? Do you fear never finding love again? And finally, how can you mitigate these fears? If you chose to stay, perhaps you could approach your partner and pursue counselling. If you left, maybe you could go travelling and get into the swing of meeting people again.
Sometimes, just by thinking about how to overcome your worst fears, the decision can become quite clear. If the worst were to happen in either case, perhaps one method of overcoming a struggle seems more obvious, more natural for you, or intuitively more desirable. Perhaps even coming to grips with your greatest fears in both cases and comparing them makes one suddenly seem much more important and the other one more diminished.
And maybe, just maybe, there is another option… but that’s for the next blog ;).
Don’t miss Part 4 of Big Decisions, where I will talk about how to escape from a "black and white" frame of mind when you're trying to make a big decision. Learn more about me and my services or book a free discovery call with me today! I would love to hear from you.