Decision paralysis

“I would prefer a thousand mistakes in extravagance of love to any paralysis in wariness of fear.” ~Gerald C. May (from The Awakened Heart)

I have several areas of my life where I am struggling to make decisions about where to focus my energy and attention and my inability to make a clear decision about any of these is causing me a good deal of frustration and paralysis. One of the biggest areas where I’ve been struggling is in trying to decide exactly how to focus my efforts to develop a clear path to be able to make a living on my own by the time my current grant-funded job ends in 18 months.

I was going through the exercise (yet again) of making a list of my many options tonight, and while I do feel like there are some general themes rising to the top of the heap, the point of making a clear, committed decision about how to focus my time and energy over the coming months continues to elude my reach. I truly feel stuck in a “paralysis in wariness of fear.” I continue to make my pro and con lists in the hope that someday a risk-free answer will suddenly appear. It’s not working.

It dawned on me earlier today that any decision that I commit to will be better than my current state of paralysis. Even if I make a choice that winds up not being fruitful, I will learn from it and can use that information to better guide my next decision. If nothing else, if I try something and decide that I don’t like it, there isn’t a sufficient market, or it otherwise isn’t working for me (for whatever reason), then that’s one more option eliminated so I can better focus on what’s left. Although chances are good that each effort (even if not ultimately successful) will also teach me more about myself, the possible market, possible connections or partners available to me, and general business and marketing practices, so I will be in a better place to make a stronger decision anyway.

The longer I try to keep all of my possible options open, the more energy I am wasting while not making any forward progress. The only thing keeping me stuck here is my fear. What if I pick the wrong thing? What if I can’t do this? What if I fail? What if I look like a fool? It doesn’t take much of this thinking to have me worrying about being homeless and starving if I don’t get it right on the first try.

“Every time you stalk your fear and choose life … you’ll begin to reclaim the parts of you that have been blocked off.” ~Ana T. Forrest

I like the phrase “stalk your fear and choose life.” That’s exactly what I need to start doing with regard to my future. I need to find a way to look beyond all my fears and to tap into the deepest loves of soul and choose from that place. That doesn’t mean that practical questions are irrelevant; it just means that they are not the right place to start. I need to start with the places that bring forth an extravagance of love because it is those places where I come most alive and have the most to offer to the world around me. I may make mistakes as I work through the process of trying to implement those loves as income-producing businesses, but I will still gain more from that than my current paralysis.

And I have no doubt that in fully opening to life and the things that thrill my soul, I will indeed find myself reclaiming parts of myself that I’ve blocked off as being too impractical or too dangerous. It is those very parts of me that I will need to bring back to life in order to successfully live my soul’s purpose.

Decision time is coming soon. It’s going to be an interesting ride!

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.

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  1. Pingback: Choosing consciously in the now « Journey Through the Chrysalis

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