I can’t believe that I haven’t written a post with this title yet.
Decisions do not come easily to me. I have an excuse, too. According to my Myers-Briggs inventory results, I have a high amount of Perceiving (vs. Judging), and, quoting that Wikipedia article I just linked to:
According to Myers, perceptive types prefer to “keep decisions open”.
I’ll say. That strong preference of mine tends to make things a bit dodgy — for me and other people involved, I assume — when there’s a need for me to make a decision.
For example, here are some decisions I should be making, ASAP:
- Details about a big (in my mind) workshop I’m presenting, to esteemed peers, about the new therapy groups I’m doing at work … IN 10 DAYS!!!!!
- Details about a trip I want to take this August, with my son, to London and Edinburgh.
- Whether or not to cancel my credit card, which I managed to lose track of THE VERY SAME DAY I published this post about losing things (a decision which will have some effect on my ability to act quickly, once I decide about #2, above).
I hesitate to tell you the machinations and agonies my mind can go through, when I’m trying to make a decision like those above, because I don’t want to bore, horrify, or distress you (or myself), this morning.
Hey, that was a decision I made! (Although I have to tell you, because I’m so friggin’ transparent about everything, that I just wrote a paragraph where I DID give an example of how ridiculous a decision process can be for me.) (But I erased it.) (And, hey! That was a decision I made!)
You and I might be getting this idea, right now. Even though I have trouble making decisions, I still have to make them, all the time. And I do.
But with any decision, I can really get caught up in my own mind in an unpleasant and unproductive way. Usually what trips me up are these thoughts:
There is a right or wrong decision. If I choose unwisely, there will be major consequences.
Fueled by those kinds of anxiety-provoking thoughts, I go back and forth, with pros and cons.
I’m “blessed” in the ability to see many different sides to any question or situation. But that blessing can REALLY elongate and confuse the whole Weighing Pros And Cons Thing.
What helps? To remember the following:
- There is usually no right or wrong decision. (In other words, it helps to let go of the cognitive distortion of All-or-Nothing Thinking.)
- Even if a decision isn’t an advantageous one, I can usually adjust and learn from it.
- My decisions probably won’t affect other people as adversely as I fear.
No matter what, though, I still DON’T LIKE making important decision. I woke up this morning — aware of those three Needs for Decision-Making I listed above — feeling quite cranky.
I’ll tell you something else. When I’m in a certain state of mind, every decision can feel important. Then, I’m REALLY cranky.
Take this blog post I just wrote, for example. I’m wondering about decisions I’ve made so far, and whether I should I undo them:
Should I have used all those capitalizations in this post? Did I give enough examples? Is the writing colorful enough? Is the tone too breezy? Should I have included an anecdote about how I got so tripped up by a ridiculously trivial decision regarding my workshop presentation? Should I have included the story about my wedding to my ex and how it took us 8 years to decide to get married (because he’s a Myers-Briggs Perceiver, too) but once we decided, I scheduled and planned the whole friggin’ thing, making decisions left and right, in two months?
Ahhhhhh, who cares. The post is what it is.
Whatever THAT is.
And thanks for reading!