Making Big Decisions: Why Is It So Hard?

Amy Vaughn

Writer & Blogger

Have you ever found yourself STUCK in making a big decision? (Me, too!)

I’m not talking about whether you should wear the navy cardigan or the gray vest. I’m not talking about deciding if you are going to make spaghetti for dinner or settle for ramen. I understand that sometimes those seemingly insignificant decisions can feel really hard. Often that is a symptom of larger underlying issues, whether it is grief, illness, or simply feeling like your life is out of control. 

For the purposes of this blog, I’m talking about those bigger, life-altering decisions. They could include one of these scenarios: 

  • Should I move away from my family? 

  • Should I move out of state? Across the country? 

  • Should I quit my job? Take that job? 

  • Should I look for a new job? 

  • Should I say something to the boss?

  • Should I start a side hustle? 

  • Should I end my marriage? End a friendship? 

  • Should I leave my church? 

  • Should I come out to my friends and family? 

I’m sure there is a host of other “should-I’s”, but you get my point.

Big decisions are hard because there is risk involved (and risk is scary!). 

Big decisions are hard because there are fears and insecurities often attached to them. 

Big decisions are hard because the outcomes are unknown (i.e…back to risk). 

Big decisions are hard because…well…sometimes, it is because our self-worth and self-confidence are so low that we lose trust in our ability to make a decision. 

Do any of these resonate with you? All of them? Okay, keep reading! 

It was very difficult for me to make big decisions after my divorce and after extracting myself from a toxic church because for nearly my entire life, I allowed others to make decisions for me. In many cases, I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice. I was driven by my desperate need for approval, acceptance and belonging, coupled with my passion for having purpose in my life.  

Out of  that desperation, I allowed myself to be influenced and manipulated by people in my life. Of course, not everyone in my life was a bad influence, nor did everyone influence me maliciously, but somewhere along the way, I found myself in relationship after relationship where I strove to appease the people in those relationships. It took years for me to recognize in myself that I was a supreme people pleaser. 

I lived most of my adult life running around appeasing others, exhausting myself in busyness and over-responsibility. I catered to the wants and whims of others and allowed my desires and passions to fall by the wayside. I relied on the relationships around me to guide me because my self-worth was so impoverished. 

For me, the answer to most of my problems was in nourishing myself and growing my self-worth. I didn’t do it alone. I tried and failed many times over. I knew I needed proper support and that came in the form of life coaching. With the help of my coach, I transformed my life to the point that it is now unrecognizable. I am happier, more confident, fulfilled and free.

Before, I would never have made a decision without someone else’s approval or advice. 

Now, I lean in and listen to my intuition. I allow it to guide me. I still seek advice, but now I am CLEAR on who I get advice from. 

Before, I would get stuck in decision making mode and would often fail to make a decision…which is by far worse than making a perceived “bad decision”.

Now I have the confidence and self-worth to make decisions, knowing that I can learn from any decision I make, even if it proves to not be “the best decision”. 

Before, I would worry and wonder and practically make myself sick, if I was making the “right decision”.

Now, I consider my options. I  might still get advice and then, I will consider it some more.  Then I listen to my intuition and jump in.  

Listen, making decisions can be hard…and that is okay. Making decisions can be scary…that’s okay, too. Having the confidence and self-worth to make any decision work for you takes time to master. And..as far as we all know, we’ve got time to invest…and it’s a worthy investment. 

In my upcoming blogs, I will tackle how to grow your self-trust and what role advice can  play in your decision making. I will also share more  of my own story about how I learned to make decisions despite experiencing emotional and religious trauma. 

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Let me know! You can reach me at amy@amykvaughn.com.

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