Decision paralysis is real! When we are faced with choices, no matter how many options we have, what do we tend to do? Overthink, ruminate, procrastinate…and freeze! We put pressure on ourselves to find the best decision. The fear of getting it wrong is often what gets us stuck and unable to move forward. But what if there was no such thing as a wrong decision? 

“The key to life isn’t making the right decision. It’s making the most out of the decision you made.”

Kate Northrup
why there's no such thing as the wrong decision

Nothing is forever

When I was considering quitting my corporate job a few years ago, I remember the decision-making process felt excruciating. I kept looking at it from all angles, weighing the pros and cons for months on end and feeling stuck: “I don’t know what the best decision is!”. My belief was that there was a right decision and a wrong one, the one I didn’t want to make. The one that was irremediable, like a life sentence of sorts. Could I live with the consequences of making the wrong decision? There seemed to be a lot at stake: my career and the sense of identity I attached to it, financial security, to name a few.  But what I forgot is that change is part and parcel of life. Nothing is forever. We can change our minds and course correct if we give ourselves permission to. Progress is what matters most. 

“No decision. No progress.”

Kate Northrup

It’s not the decision that counts, it’s the journey.

So, I made a decision and I ran with it. Even though the path I chose wasn’t smooth sailing, I felt like I was making progress towards my goals. That’s my biggest lesson: making a decision, any decision, equals making progress on your journey. It opens a path forward and keeps the momentum of your life going. Because ultimately, it’s not the decision (aka the destination) that counts, it’s the journey. When we have the courage to make a choice and take the next step, we will always be in a position of growth: we will learn along the way, extract nuggets of gold, lessons and insights that will inform our next decision, our next choice. I talk more about it in this short clip: “the journey is the destination”. Like a GPS that recalculates the route according to which road we take, our internal compass will adjust our destination according to the path we choose.

Trust the process

Bringing trust to the process is key in order to make the most out of any decision you make. And yes, trusting the process is also a choice! There’s an exercise I often encourage my clients to do in order to reflect on their life experiences and appreciate what got them to where they are today. I call it the “twists and turns”. They often come to the realisation that everything they went through, the joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows, the obstacles and the challenges, all of them contributed to making their life the rich tapestry that it is, while helping them cultivate important human qualities such as resilience and discernment. It’s impossible to see clearly where a specific decision will lead you, but one thing is for sure: clarity comes from taking action. Take one step and trust the process.  

Imagine your life is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every experience, every person you meet, every decision you make is a tiny jigsaw piece, oddly shaped and making no sense at all on its own. As you pick up each piece, you cannot understand or see how it would fit into the bigger picture: it’s the wrong shape! It’s the wrong colour! Oh no, I’ve made the wrong decision!  But, on a scale so much grander than you can imagine, a picture is forming. A life that has guided you to exactly where you’re meant to be. It all makes sense in the end. Each turn you take is leading you to the greater lesson. You may not be able to see it when you’re in the middle of it, but it is forming a phenomenal picture. This is all part of the greater plan. Please trust the process.”

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

As Amy Taylor-Kabbaz beautifully puts it: “it is all part of the greater plan”. Forget about right and wrong: make a decision, run with it and grow from it.