Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” I always found that to be comical and didn’t pay much mind to the message until recently. Take what? What does that mean? Which direction am I supposed to go? Am I supposed to go straight through the fork? There aren’t clear signs to show me the way!
I don’t think Yogi was trying to be very deep about this statement, but it certainly resonates with me in my current state of life. We make several choices every day. Some are not even conscious choices but just routine. Others demand more thinking power and consideration. Choices direct our day, our week or even our year.
Why is it hard to make a decision? One reason that stands out to me is FEAR. Fear is what holds us back from moving forward. Being afraid to make mistakes. Being afraid you will hurt someone’s feelings, even if it is in your best interest. The fear of the unknown, less traveled path. How many obstacles are in the way? The fear of getting lost and not finding your way back. Fear can paralyze a person from making a decision. It can hinder you and make you feel inadequate. Until we take a look at our fears and overcome them, we may never move forward.
I have never considered myself a fearful person. I always was curious and adventurous. I wasn’t afraid to try new things. I even didn’t care if I got lost because I knew I could always find a way out or turn around from where I started. However, there is a fear within me that until recently, I didn’t know existed.
I am now standing in front of that fork, unsure which direction to head. I am afraid if I choose one path, it might be the wrong one and I will be lost or confused. More importantly, I am afraid I may hurt others in the process by that one decision I make. Do I stay where I am, not move forward and continue to live status quo? Do I take that path of an unknown future because I know in my heart, it will be the best decision I will make in my life; that may possibly be the road to my inner peace and well being?
I am paralyzed. I am stuck. I am fearful of the after effects it may cause to those around me. What can I do? How can I get myself to decide which direction I should go at this crossroad?
TIME. Since I know this fork is a new obstacle in my life, I am not willing to be careless in my decisions. However, I cannot take too much time to think because by doing that, I am not making choices to progress. I do not want to remain stagnant forever.
GRACE/KINDNESS. Life has been quite a journey so far and by beating myself up over my past mistakes or decisions isn’t going to help build my confidence to make important decisions. I need to believe in myself that no matter what, the choices I make will be the right ones. I need to allow myself the grace to keep going without being my worst critic.
TRUST/FAITH. I must trust that I AM capable of just about anything I put my mind to if I only give myself a chance to try and take that leap of faith. Over the years, my confidence has been slowly been chipped away, so I need to remember that I am stronger than I think. I have many talents that I need to be proud of and not downplay them because I am humble. I wasn’t raised to toot my own horn because it comes off as arrogant. But in reality, humility isn’t about remaining quiet about your accomplishments. Take a look at this quote:
Humility isn’t denying your strengths; it’s being honest about your weaknesses.Rick Warren
TIME, GRACE, TRUST. That seems to be a good start. If I keep these things in mind, I will be more apt to make a decision. Now it is a matter of putting this into practice so that I can be at peace with the choices I make in my future.
What’s holding you back from making life altering changes?
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