According to USA Today we make on average 35,000 decisions a day.
That's anything from what to wear to whether to go for the job that means uprooting your life and moving abroad.
Most decisions are made in a blink of an eye, without much thought. Some are even made on autopilot, like which route to take to the supermarket. You don't question these, unless something goes wrong as a result (traffic jam on the way!).
But for bigger life decisions, you can spend a lot of time deliberating. You go back and forth analysing the situation and trying to figure out which is the best course of action. Sometimes your brain can do sneaky things like spiral into worst-case scenarios; writing the end of the story before the first chapter is even dry on the page.
Or you try to compute every possible option until you give up and do nothing. There's even a name for this - analysis paralysis:
"Analysis paralysis (or paralysis by analysis) describes an individual or group process when overanalyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become "paralyzed", meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon."
And I think we can all agree, that when you want to make change doing nothing isn't ideal.
And then there's The Other People
Wouldn't life be so much simpler if we didn't have to worry about what other people think? Or listen to what their perfectly curated social media feeds tell us is the Right Way? Or be sucked into some shiny, jazzy, marketing nonsense that promises to fix all our troubles if only we have enough money to buy into it?
Wouldn't it be nice to know that you can make a decision on your own, without questioning it, without overthinking it and without worrying that you'll regret it?
And how about knowing that you are capable of doing something brave and new, like handing in your notice to that job you like but don't love to start you own business? Or training to be a yoga teacher? Or even starting a new hobby that is just for you, but without any of the guilt that would normally come with it?
As Glennon Doyle says in her book Untamed;
“If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you’re good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself.”
It is possible to know yourself so well that you can make these kind of decisions with ease. Working out what matters most to you, how to align with that and how to make decisions based on that knowledge will allow you that freedom.
And when you make decisions based on that knowledge, you will feel energised and not drained by the process. The decision making becomes the easy part; what you do once you've settled on that choice may be harder. Maybe you'll need to 'play bigger', become visible and therefore vulnerable to judgement from others. Maybe you'll need to shore up wavering self-belief from time to time and deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with making significant change.
But you'll have the confidence and core knowledge that you know yourself best. That you are confident in your own decisions and that will be enough to guide you through the trickier parts yet to come.