The average adult makes up to 35,000 remotely conscious decisions a day (according to UNC-TV Science). We make a decision, and our decision makes us. Every choice we make opens a new door that defines our circumstances in life. What are your key considerations when making a decision?
I was once faced with the toughest decision of my life. It was a matter of life or death, standing up for myself or settling for what I had, continuing on or starting over. I had to decide whether to abstain from a situation that wasn’t serving me or stick with it hoping things will work out.
Moving forward with this decision would cause pain for my family, challenges my spirituality, and abandon my lifestyle. Staying would compromise my value, degrade my worth, and foster an environment of complacency.
Should I walk away from my marriage or fight for it?
My first instinct was to rationalize how to make it work, to endure the challenges, make the sacrifices and hope things would get better.
But should I? At what cost? For whose benefit?
Knowing that my value was being diminished, deep down inside I knew I needed to use the gifts God has given me to live a more purposeful life.
If I stayed would I be settling? If I ended the marriage would I be breaking a promise?
Yes and Yes.
Is one side greater than the other?
According to physics, Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion, it states:
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.”
When it comes to the effects of decision making, I leveraged this law stating, “for every decision, there is an equal and opposite consequence.” How well do we factor in our consequences when evaluating our decisions?
Many times when you are faced with a decision to choose you, you begin to rationalize and see if you can ‘reason your way out’ of either side of the coin.
Perhaps I could make it work. I may suffer on the inside, sacrificing my life’s dreams while being in a toxic environment but… I’m tough, I can get through it, I could persevere and make it work, right?
I said the same thing until one day I asked myself a powerful question that started me on my path to My Truth. “But, why should I?”
I had to look at the situation from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on what I am walking away from, I consider what I could be walking towards. I’ve learned over time that not only should we walk away from the bad to have something good but to let go of the good to embrace the great. It all boils down to perspectives (and a whole lot of real talks with God lol).
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.” ~ James, The Great Book of Wisdom
Influences on our Decisions
My Christian family said, “I will be going against God’s word”, the elders said “marriage is a life-long journey”, my peers said, “but you’re living in paradise, be grateful”. They all gave their opinion which could sway my decision. So did that mean I should stay? Should I jeopardize my self-love?
That would feel forcing a square peg in a round hole? Sure, with a lot of friction and discomfort, that peg may eventually fit. But at whose expense? Dreading the thought of that discomfort, I knew I needed to silence other people’s opinions and determine what was best for my life, essentially finding MY truth!
I took a deep dive within myself, evaluating the meaning of my life and connected to God for a deeper understanding of the situation. I needed answers and I was ready to listen.
I replayed the last few years of my marriage in my mind. Looking at the signs I ignored, the decisions I made and how it impacted our relationship. I was holding myself captive, full of anger, hurt, and guilt. I knew God has given all of us a gift and my gift was being stifled by my toxic self-talk. Walking around with this dark cloud hovering over me and I needed to make a change. I shifted my perspective to align with my higher-good and broke free of my mental captivity. What comforted me most was when I decided to forgive myself and when I gave myself permission to choose me.
Stephen Covey writes in The 8th Habit that “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.”
I looked at my situation from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on what I would be losing, I considered what I would be gaining. Eliminating the bad to obtain the good; releasing the good to embrace the great.
The Decision-Making process
It’s not always easy to make a sound choice, but when we do, the process goes like this:
1. Determine your goal.
2. Determine its value.
3. Arrange and examine the options available to reach it.
4. Determine the likelihood of each option meeting your goal.
5. Choose the option with the highest likelihood of meeting it.
6. Use the outcome of this experience to adjust your future goals and the way in which you make future decisions. [Source: Schwartz]
Whether you are in a dysfunctional marriage, you have a boss that devalues your work, you’re in a negative environment of quarreling and complaining, you’re involved in a dream stealing relationship, or have a one-sided friendship, remember to choose you. Not solely by focusing on self-gain, but in a healthy way where you create a win-win situation without jeopardizing your self-worth.
By releasing and restoring, I realized that my marriage was based upon what I tolerated. To change my experiences, I had to change what I was willing to tolerate. My decision was not to determine to walk away from a marriage or not, it was about redefining how I loved myself, how I identified with myself and how I valued myself. I gave myself permission to love myself first. I chose ME.
As you follow this 6 part series of “The True Source of Self-Love”, by now you know the ironic thing is that self-love doesn’t come from self. It comes from loving yourself enough to connect with your higher self through God and draw upon His love.
“Focus on self-more to become self-less.” Chantelle Simone
If I was still broken, how could I help others effectively? There’s a powerful scripture that says “look at the plank in your own eye before you look at the speck in your brothers”. You were designed to help people. “To help others you must first help yourself” right?! We need to consider how we are helping and are we serving from a depleted cup or a full cup?
Self-love is looking at the plank in your eye, forgiving, releasing, understanding and preserving the lessons so you can have clear eyes to help the spec in your brother’s s. So today I give you permission to love yourself first.
Always remember to choose and embrace the true you.
To your prosperity,
MNLP, MTLT, MCHt, MNLPC, MBBLSS
Subject Matter Expert on Purpose & Identity |NLP Mental Master Coach | Educational Speaker
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