Fear. It is the only thing that stops us from doing something. If you are reading this, it is probably because you’re meant to be.
When life throws an ultimatum at us and we are unsure of the outcome, it can be really scary. Be mindful of the following 3 principles when tackling a really BIG life decision.
- If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
We, humans, love to mitigate risk through avoiding change. Failure is something that really frightens us. Of course, there are the brave few who don’t agree with stability, but for the rest of us, our lives and ideas about life are so structured and dictated by social discourses, that we have lost sight of what we actually want and we confuse it with what we THINK we want. In other words; we are confused by what we are SUPPOSED to want. We have been programmed to avoid trying because the negative outcome is perceived to be far worse than not ‘going for it’ at all.
- More often than not, you will always regret NOT doing something rather than doing it.
Making a big life decision is undoubtedly the scariest thing to face.
Start with listing your pros and cons. Once you’ve weighed those up, write down your worst-case-scenarios. Write down what you would actually do if you failed. You may realize that you will still be ok if your plan does, indeed, fail. It may alleviate your fear and help you become OK with the idea of failing.
For example; You have been offered a job overseas. This is an exciting change that you wouldn’t mind exploring because you can see yourself enjoying the lifestyle in that country, and you actually aren’t happy in your current job anyways. This would mean leaving your family and friends, selling your car, making your significant other quit his/her job and come with you, etc.
After you have established your points of pleasure and pain, begin to write down what would happen if this didn’t work out. What if your significant other doesn’t manage to find a job? What if you become really frustrated with the people of the country and the way in which they treat you differently? What if you end up simply not enjoying the job? If you regret leaving, do you know what will happen? You will come back. You will have had something extra to put on your CV and extra memories to store in your experience archive, which will increase your job opportunities back home and increase your knowledge of the world. You are not committing to a death sentence.
- Sometimes advice is actually an opinion. Live your own life. Not someone else’s.
Anything can be tackled in the above ways; from relationship dilemmas to lifestyle choices. If after the analysis of the possibility of failing, you discover that this ‘big decision’ is not something that you should be doing, listen to your gut and don’t do it. But make sure that that decision is calculated and that it is your own, and make sure that you will not regret your decision in the future.
Free yourself from the biased opinions of your friends and family, as they should support you with whatever you decide to do. Unfortunately, they are unable to have an objective opinion and will express either how they feel about your decision or what they would do in your position.
They are not you, and you are not them. You need to make yourself happy because you only have one life and one chance, and it shouldn’t ever be spent asking “what if”.