Whether we realize it or not, we are born decision-makers. Thousands of times each day, we make decisions that impact us for either just a moment or an entire lifetime—sometimes not realizing the difference. With so much practice making choices, you’d think we’d all feel pretty comfortable making changes in our lives. But with the weight so many of them carry, it can be hard to declare anything that’s scary with unwavering confidence.
I’ve often touted my indecision like it’s just something I’ll have to put up with for the rest of my life. Like a cute, Libran quirk—one of many imperfections that I’ve come to acknowledge and accept about myself. (After all, I’m all about self-love.) I laugh now at the things I fretted over as a kid. (Obviously, it didn’t matter whether I wore the black, chunky sandals or the studded, chunky sandals. Both were hideous, everyone was wearing them, and neither option altered my social status for better or worse.) But recently, I’ve noticed a change. I have since become exasperated with myself and my noncommittal tendencies. Because really, it all boils down to one very obvious thing: I’m scared shitless.
Yes, my indecision means I’m afraid. Afraid to take the lead. Afraid I’ll say something someone doesn’t like. Afraid I’ll be stuck with something I don’t like. Afraid to take responsibility if things go wrong because I led myself there. And here I’ve been, proudly trumpeting my shortcomings as though saying them out loud makes them not so bad. When really, I’m only reinforcing bad, lazy, scaredy-cat behavior.
I mean, damn. When I think about it that way, this wishy-washy stuff sounds downright heinous. But I’m getting to the good part.
So yesterday, in a supreme bout of Monday funk (the meh kind), I came across a post by Nicole of A Life Less Bullshit that couldn’t have been more aptly timed for where I am now and where I’m headed. Her creation, the Change Your Story Project, is about these negative self-fulfilling diagnoses we keep repeating to ourselves—and throwing them right in the trash. In Nicole’s own words:
Our lives are made up of stories, and the most powerful stories are the ones we tell about ourselves, to ourselves. If you tell yourself you don’t deserve to be loved, then that becomes true based on the sheer fact that everything you do and say and think makes it true. If you’re telling yourself you can’t change your eating habits because you don’t have enough willpower, then surprise surprise, that’s your reality.
Well, hell-ooo, Nicole. Nice of you to pop up in my reader like you just knew I’ve been excusing my vacillating ways. As one would accidental boob grabs, or farts.
The Change Your Story Project is a call to action for fellow bloggers to share their stories—the false, damaging stories they keep telling over and over—and declare how they plan on rewriting them for a more well-rounded plot and protagonists worth reading about. In non-metaphor speak: By not only addressing our problems, but also by coming up with very specific, tangible, and reasonable goals, we can actively choose to change our lifestyles for the better, big or small.
Key word there: actively. As in, the opposite of passively. Decisiveness requires activeness. No more just letting things happen to me—or worse, allowing nothing at all to transpire.
I said 2013 would be a big year, and I meant it. I’m going to start actively making decisions. Smart, informed, self-respecting decisions. And sticking to them. And playing something else on repeat every time I’m feeling panicky by the uncertainty of a decision I must inevitably make: the consequences of one false move are nothing at all compared to the consequences of stagnancy. This is just one small change of many, but I’m glad I have the guts to choose it. That’s my story. What’s yours?