I caught myself in an old familiar pattern the other day; ruminating about all of the reasons why something I was planning might not go as hoped. Then, I remembered that I could see it as an experiment, and suddenly I felt much better. Without the pressure to make “all the right decisions”, I could finally move forward.
The decisions and choices that trip us up can be large or small. They might be about creative projects, money, or scenarios that involve others. Or, they may carry emotional attachments, call up deeply held beliefs or have significant consequences, which makes the idea of getting something wrong especially fraught. Internal pressure to ensure our desired outcomes can then stir up confusion and doubt, leading to an inability to act: analysis paralysis.
Approaching a choice with curiosity is a way to change “I don’t know, and I might get it wrong and that might be bad” to “I don’t know, but I have some ideas and I wonder what would happen if….?”. It can help us hold the whole process more lightly and question some of the meanings we’ve assigned to our decisions. It’s a subtle shift that can clear the path.
We can’t predict every outcome, but sometimes we can befriend the unknown, experiment, try something new, take things a step at a time, change course if needed, and stay open to possibility.