"Mere deciding raises your morale."
- Napoleon Hill
Indecision sucks. I don't know how to state it more poetically so I won't try. In a world with option overload, being decisive is pretty rare. During times of transition, such as recovery, it can be even tougher to know where to turn and which decisions are "the right ones."
Have you ever found yourself standing like you're lost in an aisle at the grocery store, staring at three dozen boxes of the exact same thing, unable to choose one and move on? Come on, I know I'm not the only one...
One thing I've learned is this: There is power in positive action.
Making decisions cuts out certain options and lays out others. This, in itself, makes life more simple and streamlined.
Example: I'm in that god awful aisle at the store again which makes my mild ADD go off the charts. Rather than freak out or leave without anything, simplifying saves the day. Asking the question "do I need bulk or individual size?" will whittle down my choices. Making a decision based on the circumstances will help me make that choice. Am I shopping for myself or a group? Simple question, simple enough answer. Right?
I also turn to my intuition, that quiet nudge inside that is ready to direct you when you listen. This act of checking in with intuition can be so simple it might seem silly. Am I more drawn to the yellow or blue? Is the square or triangle more compelling? These questions can lead to decision making, providing a clear direction for what to choose or where to explore.
Keeping things simple reduces anxiety and moving on can happen more quickly, easily and with more ease. I love this. As someone who can complicate a button, Keep it Simple Sweetheart has been a slogan I turn to often. I want to make choices and trust myself to deal with the next step, whether I am in the market, at another turning point in my sobriety or running my business. Simplicity, Self Love and Support allow me to do this.
When it comes to bigger life stuff, you might be thinking "but Darcy, how will this work when I'm thinking about getting a divorce or moving?" Can it be that simple? Quick answer: Yes. When you are aligned with your values and have cultivated trust in yourself, making decisions and following the direction it leads you in is second nature. In recovery, this takes time. Don't expect yourself to be perfect or feel confident every step of the way. You won't.
Side note: Simple doesn't mean easy or fast. Taking things step by step leads to conscious choice making and complex things can be more manageable.
There is no perfect choice. Nor is there any one decision that will make or break any one of us. There is magic in consistency, though and consistency creates confidence. Making decisions based on personal values and following through on things that matter leads to self trust. Prioritizing what really matters and seeking the support to create the results you desire will lead to options. When you make the "big decisions," the "little ones" fall into place. When you make the little ones, based on what you value most, the big ones will be aligned.
Sometimes shame enters the picture, threatening to throw you off course. I know this one well, that damn inner critic who can get under my skin faster than anyone I know. Imagining that I am safe and unafraid helps me disconnect from shame or insecurity.
Bringing curiosity in also takes the shame or blame out of any situation. This can be a game changer no matter where you find yourself. Shame is toxic and makes simple things difficult and painful. Instead of judging, just notice. This can happen by shifting from using words like "should" into "could" or "good and bad" into "preferable or less enjoyable." What are you drawn to when you know you won't be judged? Being kind to yourself does wonders... give it a try.
Confidence grows with choice making. Taking action can lead to the feelings you desire. When you don't know what decision is best for you, take a deep breath. Start there and things will immediately be more approachable (just try it).
Not knowing what to choose might indicate being disconnected from personal values, what matters to you most. To create a clear direction, asking simple questions and deepening understanding of yourself now might be in store.
Living in recovery is not just about surviving. Overcoming challenges and rising above them shapes us to be more alert, alive and energized about life. Growing through difficulty and recovering from change, transition, illness or trauma leads us to a place where we get to thrive.
The next time you find yourself unclear on what direction to take, take a deep breath, sink into your self, listen to that intuition, bring curiosity in and ask people you trust who have experience for perspective.
How do you Keep It Simple Sweetheart?
What does Self Love look like in your recovery world today?
Where does Support show up to keep you company?
Explore + let me know what you find!
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas