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On making decisions

One thing I have been talking a lot with patients recently is how do we make decisions.

In complete transparency, I am often cautious when making decisions. I plan for things not going perfectly. My whole life, I have always had a Plan B for the worst case scenario. Many decisions I have made have been about managing risk, about having a fall-black plan for the worst-case scenario. At some point along the road, I have started asking, What would be the best case scenario? I try to make decisions with that in mind. I am learning to not plan for Plan B, but for Plan A. So that is one thought on making decisions.

Another question I often talk about asking myself when making decisions is, "If you made this decision today, a year from now (or 5, or 10), would you feel grateful that you did?" Maybe you are debating starting therapy, but it takes time/is expensive/hard. Would you be glad that you did this a year from now? 5 years from now? Or maybe you want a dog, but you know how the first few months with a puppy are incredibly hard. Will you be glad that you did this in a year?

Or maybe it is embarking on recovery from an eating disorder, quitting drinking. Whatever it may be, how will you feel about this decision in a year? If the answer is that, yes, you will be grateful, then the thing you want to work on or do is likely worth it.

Another thought is, I learned to not make decisions from a place of high emotions. It is so tempting to make a decision when emotions are high, when you want to escape the intensity of the emotion. Wait until the intense emotions pass. The calm after the storm is often the best time to make decisions.


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