I believe a part of this indecisiveness comes from women’s innate nature to be caretakers and with that we sometimes get into “people pleasing” mode. Of course, we don’t realize it at the time. Remember what they say on airplanes – put the oxygen mask on your face and then put it on your child. Why? If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you be there for others? Certainly, it is important to be considerate of others, but there is a fine line between “taking care of others” and “neglecting ourselves.”
The decisions I am speaking of can be as big as being in someone’s wedding or as small as whether to attend something you were invited to or when to have your child’s birthday party. I can’t tell you the countless times I have done something because I felt I had to, had an ulterior motive for doing so, or expected a specific outcome. In these cases, I tended to walk away with regret. I’ve noticed I have had the most enjoyable time and been the best company when I “choose” to do something.
“Choice” is actually an interesting concept when you dig into it. Years ago, I attended a seminar series, which talked about choice. Essentially, the thought is that we empower ourselves to decide whether to do or not do something without an attachment to the outcome. It took me a long time to truly understand this concept. The seminar leader conducted an exercise where I had to choose chocolate or vanilla ice cream. When I chose a flavor, she asked why. Each time, I gave a reason: it tastes good, it will make me happy, etc. She kept telling me to start again and to choose a flavor. I was confused, but after a few tries, I finally got it. When truly choosing chocolate or vanilla, I am to choose it simple because I want to. That’s it! This is much more powerful than the ifs, ands and buts we usually have around that which we choose.
Perhaps we need to just step back and choose!
So what did my friend do about her celebration? At the end of the day, she “chose” and in her final invitation email she sounded genuinely excited and not at all worried about the outcome of who showed up. I’m so excited for her.