Before we get started, please take a moment to answer “yes” or “no” to the following statements:
- I second guess my decisions more often than I’d like to admit.
- I’ve been told that I overthink things.
- I tend to analyze and replay scenarios in my mind.
- I sometimes beat myself up for deciding too slowly.
- I often wonder if I failed to see better options.
- I worry about the judgment of others.
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these statements, I’m sharing a personal story with you, and even though you likely won’t be relating to the specifics, I hope you will receive the message.
I got married for the first time when I was only 20 years old. I married a very nice guy for all the wrong reasons, and I stayed married to him for 14 years. Sometime during year four, I started wanting a divorce, but it took me 10 years to finally leave. I overthought everything, from who would get the living room sectional to worrying about how he was going to support himself without my income. And while I was analyzing, worrying, looking for the “right time” to have the talk, and rationalizing whether it was really that bad, I squandered 10 years of my life.
One thing I figured out, albeit much later, was that beating myself up for staying in an unhappy situation for too long was useless and self-destructive. Same conclusion as to worrying about what my parents and my dearest friends would think of me for leaving the marriage. Instead, I should have trusted myself.
Which brings me back to the topic at hand – coping with your decision.
If you find yourself lost in the morass of second-guessing after you’ve made your decision, please interrupt yourself. Switch the language of your negative self-talk to a positive statement. Say it another way. “I made the best possible choice given the circumstances” is a good start. Words matter, especially the words we say to ourselves.
If you’re worrying about what others think of your decision, accept that you cannot please everybody. Maybe your sales team is vocal about the new commission structure. Listen to them, really hear what they’re complaining about, and then try putting yourself in their shoes. Shifting your focus will definitely help you get out of your own head.
Coping with your decision is also about accepting change. Not easy, I know. Demonstrating to others that change happens and that you’re willing to roll with it will imprint your skill set as a leader, whether it’s in your business, your family, or in your own mind.
If you’re able to accept your own decisions as part of the journey of your life, congratulations. Trusting yourself is huge!
And if you’re still second-guessing, overthinking, analyzing, and worrying, take a breath and start another chapter with the words, “next time . . .”