In your mind, you have amazing plans to achieve great things. Maybe you don’t. But I’m sure you have stuff in your life that you wish you could change. Little do you know, you’re one decision away from a completely different life.
Perhaps it’s getting away from a toxic relationship?
Maybe you want to leave a bad work environment?
Perhaps you would like to get out from under a massive pile of personal debt?
You want to get fit, but your weight has ballooned over the years.
We all have dreams of a better life, but they keep us up late so we can avoid the nightmare of tomorrow.
You’re one decision away from a completely different life
When you think about it, the answer is easy: just do it! But moving on your solution is unbelievably hard.
To break up with someone, you have “the talk.”
Leaving a lousy job requires a resignation letter.
Dropping debt comes with budget adjustments.
Losing weight requires diet changes and more exercise.
The solution is easy
In principle, these are not tricky solutions to complex problems. They are just incredibly hard to start –or so we convince ourselves that they are.
It’s not that we aren’t smart enough or unable to move into action. We lack courage. Our desire to have a specific outcome wraps us up in fear if things don’t go to plan.
What if my spouse overreacts?
What if the boss gets angry?
How will I have fun if I can’t spend money?
What if exercising hurts or the food I eat doesn’t taste good?
It’s easy to walk down a dark hallway all alone, just put one foot in front of the other. The difficulty comes when we are uncertain of what may lurk in the darkness, what is waiting for us at the end of that dark walk?
I had to walk alone once, it turned out to be the best decision of my life
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the day I broke to the world that I was sexually abused as a child. For 20 years, I held that secret so close to my heart that every aspect of my life protected it and the abuser, my father.
When my son was born, I realized that my life was no longer mine. Eventually, my secret would become his, and I couldn’t burden him with it. I couldn’t allow the cycle of abuse to continue.
The action of coming out with my secret was simple: “Just tell someone you trust.” That was what the “Stranger Danger” campaign told me to do in grade school. Sounds easy enough, just tell someone that your daddy sexually abused you! But what about the fallout? The ground-zero scenarios became my prison and made it impossible for me to open up about my abuse to anyone.
It all came down to two scenarios:
Scenario 1: What if I say something and they take my son away from me, believing that I would abuse him because I was abused?
Scenario 2: What if I say nothing and he gets abused by my father?
For me to move on my decision to tell the world my secret, I had to be willing to have my son taken away from me, provided he was protected from the man that hurt me.
I needed courage to accept that reality
We can only find the courage to move on our decision when we detach ourselves from the outcome.
Once I let go of the outcome of my decision to reveal my secret, telling my wife became so much easier. I would be doing everything within my power to protect my son.
It has been ten years since my decision to reveal my childhood secret, and my life has changed beyond any of the thousands of scenarios that I envisioned.
Has it been easy? Not likely.
Life is hard, and it was going to be tough regardless of which path I would have chosen. At least the path I chose isn’t riddled with dirty secrets and constant worry.
Courage destroys anxiety
Letting go of the outcome and finding the courage to act on a decision can, and will, change your life. If you do this enough, your life will never stagnate, and your growth will become exponential. Will you fail? Of course. But are you winning by not acting on your decision?
Some of us are fortunate to live in a society that allows personal freedom, yet, we often allow fear to steal our choices in life. If you are one of those people, you are one decision away from living your authentic life. What decision do you need to make? Can you act on it now?
Let go of the outcomes.