“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela
Too often in life we are faced with an infinity of choices. From the time we wake up to the end of the day. Do I get to work by train or bus? Do I eat oatmeal or omelette? Blue or white shirt? Those are mostly easy choices that shouldn’t require much thought process. Unless you are like me, and completely indecisive about 90% of things. Going shopping with me can be torture, even for myself sometimes.
I am not a fan of choices, I hate having too many because I just can’t decide and usually end up running away from making a decision altogether. But they are those key deciding moments in life that you can’t run away from; those big decisions that will change your life forever. In my 20 some years in this life, I had few of those moments: from deciding where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to study, to what field I wanted to work in. Everything else after those decisions came together and a path was traced for me to follow. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and the timing of it all.
Recently, I was approached by few of my mentees on college and career orientation. The main concern I heard over and over was the fear of making the wrong decision. I too have recently reached another crossroad in my life, frightened of making the wrong decision, staying still, waiting for the universe or some greater force to command.
The key element we carry when faced with big decisions is fear. I do believe however that deep inside, we know what to do and make a quiet decision. However, our decision is too often stiffled by fears which drag us through the back and forth hesitation journey. The honest answer I had to the question “how do I know what direction to take?” is :”I don’t know”. You need to trust your gut and make a choice. Take a leap in that direction and move one foot in front of the other determined to make it work. Your fears have a lifetime lease to cohabit with the ambitions within you. You therefore can never get rid of them. But you can learn to live with them and outsmart them. So take on one step after the other, charge up with faith and determination and work your butt off. The rest will unfold. And if for some reason it doesn’t work out, at least you would know, you gave it your all and with a little luck, you would have unfolded a few more opportunities along the way.
“It is important to recognize the distinction between bravery and fearlessness. Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means. If your goal in life is to become fearless, then I believe you’re already on the wrong path, because the only truly fearless people I’ve ever met were straight-up sociopaths and a few exceptionally reckless three-year-olds—and those aren’t good role models for anyone.” Elizabeth Gilbert.