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Let the Mind Decide and the Heart Guide

Empowering Myself with Authentic Decision-Making

I’m a terribly indecisive person. When out to dinner, I will change my mind three times as the waiter takes the order for the other guests. I have half a wardrobe in my car, just in case I decide I’m too hot or too cold or too uncomfortable while I’m out. I have three half-written articles sitting in front of me. I was going to expand on the list, but I’ve now changed my mind. I’m also contemplating if I should just go back to one of the other half-written articles. Perhaps I should take a walk or have some tea while I think about it. Maybe I should spend this time replying to messages instead.

You get the idea. Decisiveness is not my forte.

Being on the edge of making a decision, balancing between two or more directions, is something just about everyone has felt at some point. That feeling that the choice is weighing heavily on you; sometimes it is as simple as what to eat, other times it is if you should move to a new city, new job, new relationship. Often, the little things can almost seem as big as the life-changing ones. We become stuck, and making a solid decision just seems too hard. There are benefits to staying free to change your mind, of going with the flow, but many believe our commitments are the cornerstones to a ‘good life’.

There are a variety of reasons why we might be finding it hard to commit, this can range from having too many choices to people-pleasing tendencies. For chronic indecisiveness, it may also come back to childhood and the fear of making a mistake. Those who grew up without being given opportunities to make (age-appropriate) decisions, or told the decisions they made were inadequate (particularly without proper explanations as to why), are more likely to be plagued by self-doubt and unable to connect fully with their inner guidance.

It is easy to beat ourselves up about being indecisive, or to complain about others who won’t stick to a decision. Yet, as with anything compassion, for ourselves and others, is so important. Moving beyond our wounds takes time.

It may be frustrating when someone (including ourselves) won’t make a decision or fully commit. I have come to recognise that the energy of commitment has to come from within, it can’t be forced. In depths of indecision, I try to remember the feeling of when I do dedicate myself. There is something true to the power of fully committing, whether it is as simple as what to eat, to how I want to live my life. Things fall into place in an almost syncro-mystical way: the universe seems to re-organise to fit the decision. And other choices flow more easily.

Sometimes all it takes is just one choice; letting the mind decide and the heart guide.

My Guiding Commitment

While everyday decisions still sometimes tie me in knots, I have made a larger commitment to help guide the smaller ones. It is a commitment to love. To live with love. Love for myself, for others, for the world. And with that commitment, I can easily move through life making the choices that fit best with my chosen path. What to eat for dinner becomes a decision on what is most loving for myself and the world. How I want to spend my time, returns to how I can give back in the most loving way.

When indecisiveness does inevitably plague me, when I feel my commitment to any one thing waning, I remember the below passage from German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. As his words move through me, I realise again the power of dedication, and suddenly I am re-centred.

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