“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings
Have you ever had a difficult decision to make and made a Pro-Con list to try and help you?
Theoretically, this makes sense. As human beings we are drawn towards people and situations that help us survive and thrive – the proverbial “Pros”.
This Therapeutic Thursday, I would like you to consider looking outside the standard Pro-Con box the next time you have a decision, big or small, to make.
The reason here is not because the Pro-Con list is inherently wrong or bad, but rather, because it is incomplete.
A Pro-Con list by its very nature is biased and short-sighted:
Biased: we filter future expectations of positive and negative things on our past and present experience of them; regardless of the truth of these things
Short-sighted: it is not feasible for us to know certainly every good and bad thing that will come of a decision we make because our decisions – even the smallest ones – are connected by little gossamer threads to dozens of other people and scenarios. Some of which we may be aware of; some of which we may not. This is both the beauty and the bane of our life as social creatures.
All of this being said, we know that there is evidence supporting the fact that the best indicator of future behavior has always been and will always be, past behavior [just look at the History books] but when it comes to individual human decision making, when we subscribe fully to this, we run the risk of short-changing ourselves.
For most of us, we don’t know how incredible we can be, or what sort of challenges we can rise to until we are challenged with them. And, most of us, would NEVER have chosen to go through some of the pain and heartache we have but we also know that those times were the periods of the most growth and humility in our lives; and we now look back and say “I wouldn’t change that for anything”…not because it was easy, but because it so profoundly changed us.
The next time you have a decision to make, instead of drawing that line down the center of the page and creating a dichotomy of good and evil for yourself, consider writing down 3-5 things that are most important for you to have, see, be, do, etc and then – based on what you know – which decision seems most likely to get you closer to the things that are important to you. It doesn’t mean it will be without strife or unanticipated hardship, but it DOES mean that you will have established the buy-in for yourself which will keep you focused and dedicated to the decision.
At the end of the day, we can only ever make the best decision we can with the information we have available to us in the moment we are in.
Give yourself the freedom to break away from black and white thinking and focus on what serves your true Self. Let go of fearing the infamous “what ifs” and instead, focus on just how amazing something could be.
Two quotes I would like to leave you with this Therapeutic Thursday.
To emphasize the point that life is only so predictable, I will confess: One is from Nelson Mandela and one is from Winnie the Pooh. I’ll let you figure out which is which…
“It always seems Impossible until it’s done”
“…always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”
Thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to write me below in Comments or email direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, Stay well,