We're often our most prominent advocates and opponents. Throughout life, we all face a constant battle. Not one with work, school, friends, family, or a significant other, but with ourselves. If you are to be successful in this lifetime, you must get out of our own way.
The most fierce war you'll ever engage in is the one with yourself. The battles themselves vary in size and importance. Some small, like you telling yourself you're not going to eat another brownie, but you give in to the chocolatey goodness and chomp away until there are none left. Or the larger ones, such as opting to buy a brand new car instead of saving for retirement when your current vehicle works perfectly fine. We all face decisions every single day. Typically, the culmination of those decisions shows itself in our lives at one point or another. Sometimes, it's obvious, and in others, it's incredibly discreet.
We must come to understand and respect battles within ourselves. These battles are continuous, lifelong factors that never go away unless we cease to give them the vulnerability they feed off every day. You see, when self-doubt and deprecation creep in, the war being waged inside of you has already begun. It's the classic example of having the good guy on one shoulder and the bad guy on the other. When you have a decision in front of you, the bad guy wants you to take the most pleasure-filled decision, the one that'll give you instant gratification. In contrast, the good guy will want you to make the best decision for yourself and those around you, even if it's a more challenging choice to make on the surface.
Almost innately, many human beings are self-destructive. It's sickening how people nearly search for ways to make things worse. Have you ever had that friend who can't accept a situation for what it is? As in, even if it's a great one to be in, such as having multiple job offers, they find a way to pick apart every minute detail. Well, plenty of times throughout my life, that figure has been me. I am a natural overthinker. I contemplate too much, and at times, it's to my detriment.
I get so caught up in decision-making because I know life is full of them, and they drastically affect our journeys' outcome. I never want to make the wrong decision, and I always want to make the right one. But so does everybody else, right? Yet, My quest to make the constant right decision after another right decision ultimately leaves me in a bind most of the time. Because I usually become so infatuated by every single element, I don't enjoy the process along the way. Or even worse, once the pinnacle of my choices reveals itself, I don't even notice it because I am already focused on the next one.
We put an ample amount of time into our decision making, but we must place the same amount on recognizing our progress and success. Life is full of reflection points. There is a cycle to your choices and the outcomes of them. Usually, you make the decision, you deal with the consequences, good or bad, and you move forward to the next decision. But as mentioned, when this cycle leaves out the all-important reflection step, you're making decisions just to make decisions. Instead of searching for what you can do next, take some much needed time to reflect on the decisions you've made thus far and how they have either helped or hurt you.
The self-reflection component is vital to the process because it will help you make better decisions in the future. You can't learn and grow if you never take the time to assess the selections you've made. By diving deeper into the why of things, you'll identify key indicators in your successful decisions and the mishaps from your unsuccessful ones. Reflection leads to better decision making because you have historical content to go off of, and you'll be better because of it.
Perhaps the most critical element in decision making, though, is the ability to get out of your own way. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means being unapologetically yourself from moment to moment, without remorse, whether it's easy or uncomfortable. It means to stand your ground for what you believe in and not to budge. It also means finding a balance between understanding there will be times for you to make a choice, and others, not getting in your own head, because the option will simply be to let the elements pass. Getting out of your own way is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things you'll ever do, so do it. Stop questioning every single choice you have to make, and lean into your experience. Have faith in your process of making decisions and know that, no matter the outcome, you'll come out better and more seasoned on the other side because of it.