Updated: Feb 22
The Year of The Lovers is all about choice. No doubt, 2022 will hold oodles of opportunities for decisions which have the potential to change the very trajectory of our lives. These are not your everyday decisions of what to wear, or what to make for lunch. They are more along the lines of should I get married, separated, divorced? Do I move to a new home, city, country? You get the gist.
These are pivotal decision-making events. Some of these decisions may be tough because they carry with them an element of the unknown, or perhaps sadness and a period of mourning. Yet, I say 'opportunity' because it is an invitation to grow, develop and be more in alignment with your true self.
These decisions may be effortless: “Easy come, easy go”. Some are long overdue: “I’ve had enough!” But others can be heartbreakingly difficult to make: “I can’t believe it’s come to this”, or “I really hope I'm doing the right thing”.
“We are born knowing that choice is powerful. Choice is the most powerful thing we’ve got going for us and we know it, and that’s the reason we are terrified to make a choice.” – Caroline Myss, Author
One of our biggest fears is that we’ll regret the decision we make. This foreboding can paralyse us, as we tell ourselves it’s safer to stick with the devil we know. But when is the opportunity to develop as human beings ever a bad thing? Even if you belly flop in the shallow end while the world watches, you’re now more empathetic towards others when it happens to them. You can relate. You’ve expanded. Time and energy have not been wasted. And if you’re like me, the older you get, the more perceptive you are towards others and their choices.
The truth is you make choices every single day. Small ones, medium-sized, and occasionally, the double-whoppers that require a leap of faith. What influences how we make decisions is as diverse as we are. Past experience, for example, is a significant factor when it comes to the choices we make, or don't make. The way we view the world and how we believe others see us. Also, the stress of the accountability once the decision is made, including the possibility of failure, and a whole host of other circumstances ranging from environmental factors such as socioeconomic status, to cultural beliefs, to personal biases and motivations.
Let's not forget the emotional aspect inextricably layered within the decision-making process. Remember the man and woman in The Lovers card? It is essential for the rational to work harmoniously with the emotional in order to make calm, confident decisions. Add the angel (the higher conscious) and we are in the ideal balanced state to make healthy choices for ourselves.
Like anything else, the more we utilize our decision-making skills the more they improve. Below is a list of seven steps you can incorporate to stay empowered when facing a difficult choice:
Align the options with your value to help determine what’s most important to you.
Knowledge is power. Research. Ask questions. Get all the information you need to make a solid decision.
Take a step back and look at your options from all sides to determine possible unforeseen outcomes or consequences.
Trust your gut. As you go through steps 1 – 3 you’ll begin to get twinges and confirmations of what feels right for you.
Decide. Don't regress to second-guessing or self-doubt.
Let go and trust the process. By placing expectations to the outcome, you’re creating limitations on the entire experience. Be open to all the development and growth this decision has to offer. Don’t look at it as an opportunity. See it as an invitation.
When the time is right, evaluate and reflect. This will boost your decision-making skill and confidence for all future decisions.
Note that if you stay where you are, stuck or stagnant, unable to decide, you are in fact, making a choice. When you make a conscious determination to do something, and hold yourself accountable by following through, it can change your entire future. This is your life, own it! Seek guidance, but don’t give your power away by allowing others to decide for you, or influence you in any way. It only leaves room for excuses and/or blame towards others. Remember you have options; you always have a choice.
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions." —Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
As we begin the New Year, decide to take control of your life and your decisions going forward. This year, when faced with a difficult choice remember to:
Walk in your truth. Be honest with other and yourself.
Avoid false motivations such as: "it would make so-and-so happy, proud, relieved..." – you fill in the blank.
Simplify your life to avoid decision fatigue – pick one thing and commit to it
Act, don't react.
Choose love, not fear. How many of your greatest fears and worst-case scenarios have actually come true?
Not let previous experience impact your decision in the moment. Re-invent yourself – the past does not equal the future.
“I chose and my world was shaken. So what? The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not. You have to move on.” – Stephen Sondheim, Composer & Lyricist
Say “yes” to life
Make this your best year ever!