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  • Writer's pictureMegan Filoramo

Don't decide!

There is a lot of talk in the self-help world about the virtue of deciding things ahead of time. Typically this is linked to discussion regarding making decisions from your higher level brain, your prefrontal cortex. 


When we decide something ahead of time, for example planning and prepping a healthy lunch, we are more likely to use our ability for higher level reasoning, we can see the potential benefits and make an educated decision. When left to the last minute, we often don’t take time to engage our smart brain, we are more likely to give into urges and instant gratification ie: the holiday treats and delicious drinks instead of the salad with grilled chicken. 


This is true for other situations as well. Athletes decide ahead of time how they will respond to hardship and use visualization to cement that in. Parents use it all the time to figure out who needs to be where at what time and how to make it all happen.


So it would make sense that I would jump on this bandwagon.


But, today I propose the exact opposite. DO NOT DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME.


Full disclosure, I am not talking about eating healthy or managing your schedule. What I am talking about is not deciding ahead of time how to feel.


The crazy thing is we don’t even realize we are doing this. It can happen at work or even with all the family obligations over the holiday season. We jump right to the judgment that it is going to be hard, or crazy, or stressful, or irritating. 


Of course, we may have some good evidence to assume this. Maybe past years have had us feeling stressed or irritated when in a similar situation. 


Here’s the good news, I’m not telling you you have to decide to feel good about these things either. The truth is, every day has components of good and bad. The holidays are no different. The beginning of a new week at work is no different. 


So what exactly am I proposing?

I propose that we decide to be willing to see how it turns out (without judgment).


I propose that we go into each potentially difficult situation with that exact sentence.

“I’m willing to see how this works out.”


It opens wide the possibility for an experience that we would have robbed ourselves of if we had decided negatively ahead of time.


AND

It saves us the angst of worrying about it before it actually happens.


Let’s see how next week works out. Let’s see how all the family interactions work out. Let’s see how the last minute shopping works out. Let’s see how working with this difficult coworker works out.


Too big of an order? My working model today is let’s see how the next hour works out. I can keep an open mind for an hour (it got me to finally sit down and start writing this).


Possibility is intoxicating. It relieves so much burden.


It is possible that it all works out great. It is possible that it works out good enough. It’s possible that it doesn’t really work out but that it doesn’t wreck your day either. It’s possible that whatever is planned doesn’t happen at all.


Let’s just see how it goes 🙂


 

P.S. If you just can’t see how your life can work out right now, schedule a time for a consult. Coaching has seriously changed my life for the better. Give yourself the same gift.

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