Firstly, lets get over the fact that I referenced a Hannah Montana song for my title. Okay, are we done? Great! Let’s move on… The fear of being of making the wrong decisions and screwing up my and entire life, while people point at me and tell me they told me so while giving me pity hugs.
I have done it! I have put my biggest fear in writing for everybody to see. But we all fear something, right? Whether it’s something common like Arachnophobia (spiders) , Acrophobia (heights) and Glossophobia (public speaking), or its more irrational like Alektorophobia (chickens), Pediophobia (dolls) and Coulrophobia (clowns). I googled fear of making decisions and now I can say I officially have Decidophobia. Reading into it revealed that people with this condition have anxiety attacks, hyperventilate, have muscle spasms and feel at the brink of disaster. Okaaaaaaay, so maybe I don’t quite have Decidophobia, but I definitely have something, there’s just no name for it.
I dislike the decision making process. I have tried the whole pros and cons, and the listen-to-your-gut, and also the go-with-your-first-choice. None of them actually make the process easier, and the aftermath of did-I-make-the-right-choice-and-will-it-ruin-my-entire-life questions still linger.
I think it’s important to point out, that the decisions when I act like this and go all silly is when its personal decisions. When it comes to professional development, I know what I want. So, perhaps the issue is not with decision making as much as it is with wanting that security that my life won’t be ruined personally by the decisions I make. The decisions that can no longer be changed after a certain point.
I have been hearing the One mistake will ruin your life from everyone around me for the last twenty two years. It has painted self-doubt, anxiety and fear across every cross-fork I now meet. Perhaps it was something that my parents drilled in me to make sure I don’t become pregnant at 16, go out with a douche bag, lose my virginity at 14. But its sinked in much deeper than that. I would have never let those things happen regardless of what they had said to me. That one line has actually made me question every personal decision I make. I became afraid that if I didn’t tread to carefully then that one mistake will ruin my life. I don’t blame them though, they’re just passing on what the generation before them has told them – this goes back a long time.
If people are against what I am doing, I will start doubting myself – cause it’s better to go with what they say then cry about it in five years time. Other times, I stick with a decision, not knowing if it’s right, hoping and praying that it is – but never really knowing.
We are so afraid to let go of this narrative because we think it will be misinterpreted as recklessness. It has been said to us so many times that its almost become a mantra. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that one mistake won’t ruin our life. Lets give ourselves more credit that that, that we know that one mistake will only make us stronger, more resilient. That whatever happens we can always brush off humility and shame.