Understanding Fear and the Fear in Decision Making

Decision We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences...

...and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we're willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.

All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions - it's what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it's telling me because of all the uncertainty.

Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I've learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait - by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.

Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you'll live in fear; fear of failure.

To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn't know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.

So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn't even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn't want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.

It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn't getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.

I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn't scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.

It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.

When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.

Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear - I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Terry Sidhu

VanCity Life Coach, Vancouver, BC, Canada