CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Do you make snap decisions? Or are you of the type that ponders every angle?
Whether you shoot from the hip or play out every possible scenario, there's no right or wrong approach.
There is, however, something within your control after you've made a decision. And that has to do with sticking to your guns instead of ruminating over your actions.
We all do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time. Making difficult decisions is part of life. In making them we get stronger and more confident in ourselves. Second-guessing our decisions -- once they've been made -- only dilutes that confidence and adds to our stress.
It's a vicious cycle. Once our confidence is undermined, we question ourselves more. And that leads to less confidence.
When you're facing a major crossroad in your life -- be that a career change, moving across country or leaving a relationship -- know that you already have the skills, knowledge and know-how to make the decision. The most important thing is not to take too much time contemplating all the "what ifs" before or after the decision.
See if you can relate to the following reflection that author Sonya Derian shared from one of her readers:
"I struggle with making decisions and always second-guess myself. I recently had to make a decision about something; and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided. Now, months later, my decision is eating me up, and I can't stop thinking I made the wrong decision."
Sound familiar? Derian explains there are two parts to each of us: who we are day to day, and who we are in our broader intentions. Second-guessing comes when the smaller part -- the one that is at the effect of everything -- is afraid of the greater part that's forging a new path.
When we make any decision, we effect change. And sometimes it's scary to be responsible for that change. Consider this saying: "Make a decision. And then make the decision right."
We never know where our decisions will lead us, and we can't know before making them what the aftermath might be. But only after making the decision -- never before -- can we deal with what comes next.
There's an assumption that a decision that ends up hurting someone's feelings, causing friction or rocking the boat is somehow a wrong decision. But why would that be the case?
It could mean that the broader part of you helped you make that decision in order to break something open, learn how to deal with discomfort or learn how to create a boundary in the midst of someone else's disapproval.
We're always course correcting, just like a pilot does when navigating a plane. That's how we grow.
But is there a way to allow the process to unfold more smoothly? Here are a few tips Derian offers: