Take the Plunge – Make Decisions that Mean Change

Karlsruhe_Rainbow

In this article, I would like to dedicate myself to a subject that has been and still is topical in my life at certain times. It has often been very dominant in my head and vehemently called to be considered by me. I am talking about situations where it is a matter of making larger (or even smaller) decisions and the uncertainties and fears that arise as a result which makes decision-making considerably more difficult.

Since the beginning of my trip to India, I have often confronted myself with situations that frightened me because I could not foresee how they would develop. I call this step into uncertainty the leap into the cold water. When I’m on the verge of jumping and the fear of what’s coming is growing, the temptation to back down is great. Because when I decide to start something new, I often give up something old for it.

The doubts that arise before the big step concern questions such as: Am I making a mistake? Am I losing my footing? If so, will I ever be able to return to the familiar old realms? These thoughts and feelings are usually exaggerated.

But just before deciding to take a certain path in life, jumping into the cold water always feels very final and unpleasant. Internal pressure is rising, because who knows if it’s the right decision and I can turn back later?

Whenever I stood in front of these forks and the fears and doubts nested in my thoughts, I began to write lists in which I recorded the pros and cons of the possible decision. But most of the time these lists didn’t help me to feel good about my decision and to take the plunge. However, I did not know how many points on my list spoke in favour of or against the decision.

It may sound worn out and difficult to implement, but our gut feeling is ultimately the best guide. The complicated thing about our gut feeling, however, is that one day you will not be able to recognize it. At the latest when great fear and inner restlessness set in. The feelings in the body play crazy and a reliable gut feeling seems to be far away. In these situations, however, I think that they have been there at some point, the inner conviction and the signposts that show you where you really want to go.

Fear, nervousness and strong feelings are confusing and sneaky. If they arise, they’ll lead me to believe I should probably reconsider my decision. They want me to believe that they are an indicator of my true gut feeling. I’m starting to think that I should now take this last chance to stop everything and get back to the safe harbor.

I have very, very often fallen into these traps, which put my own thoughts in front of me. Sometimes I gave in to that “false gut feeling.” And if I didn’t do it, I was glad that I didn’t give in at the last moment to this misleading fear. Afterwards, I always try to know and learn better for the next time, to recognize the overwhelming feelings objectively and to expose them. But when I’ve faced a bigger decision again, they suddenly knock again at my door and the ability to objectively distance myself seems a long way off.

So what do I do?

I encourage myself to remember my original intentions and try to give myself the courage to simply pass through these waves and turbulence. I remember situations in the past when I was happy that I had dared to take the frightening step. These steps, such as embarking on my great long-term journey – starting with the overwhelming country of India – have always proved to be the best decisions I could have made. These were decisions that frightened me because I left something old behind and had no guarantee for the success of my future plans. I was afraid of failing and making a big mistake.

So when I stand before these diversions in life, I now encourage myself to go on. My experience shows me that this has always taken me a decisive step forward on my own personal learning path. Even if I fail. Because this was also a necessary learning task for me.

I am still not a master in these situations, but I am now convinced that, even if I fail or face many difficulties, I will learn a lot for my life. So I will emerge from the situation as a wiser person than before.

All major decisions and leaps into cold water hold this potential: they make us richer in every respect. If we shy away from a decision and run away from it, then we are left with “what if” thoughts and the inner urge or curiosity to take a certain step is never satisfied.

However, no decision is the wrong one if it is made consciously. Even if I shy away from a big step and decide not to go any further, I will also learn from this decision. Maybe I will be encouraged a little later on by my inner voice to take the step after all. Perhaps a little later than planned, but more convinced than ever.

The most important thing is to accept and let go of one’s own decision, once it has been made, and then to move forward with confidence and open eyes.

Credits

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Karlsruhe_Rainbow Karlsruhe_Rainbow AlterVista CC BY-SA 4.0