Chicken sandwich or cheeseburger? Chicken is healthier but then it’s been so long since I’ve eaten a burger! A good burger! Then again the chicken is like three dollars less. I mean, it doesn’t come with coleslaw, but I hate coleslaw anyway. It’s not really healthier though. It’s fried. That’s it! I’m going to splurge on the burger!…Wait. Did
she just say fries OR onion rings?! NOOOOOOO!!!!
This is how my mind works. Every decision, big or small, is processed in that same fashion. Is it any wonder that I so often feel overwhelmed? Choices. Sometimes I find them truly intimidating. What if I make a mistake? What if I fall short? What if I let someone down? What if? What if? What if? It’s exhausting and such thinking leads me into a headspace in which I’d rather not linger.
Usually, I am able to catch myself before that self-centered fear grabs hold and carries me to the point of chasing ghosts in my head. Usually, but not always.
Sometimes, the committee in my mind likes to play in those thoughts and dredge up all my old wounds and fears of inadequacy. Not over menu choices, but in matters of the heart or when new opportunities that I wasn’t expecting show up, my first reaction is to balk. My second reaction is to “figure it out.”
Never, not one single time in my life, have I ever successfully “figured it out”. No. What I do is overthink every option, project into the future, decide not to make any decisions at all and bury my head in the sand, like the good little ostrich that I can be sometimes. Trust me when I tell you that it is not an effective course of action.
Learning how to be proactive rather than reactive has been a slow process for me. Some days, I’m much better at it than others. On the good days, I celebrate the fact that I have choices! Good, bad or ugly, they are my own and if I make a mistake, I know that I will learn and grow from it. On the good days, I know that feelings aren’t facts and a life lived in fear of being wrong is no kind of life at all. On the tough days, it’s more of a challenge. That’s ok. I’ve learned how to be open and honestly express my emotions in these regards. I am no longer afraid to seek guidance and have learned that I am responsible for my effort, not the outcomes. Because of this, fear and self-doubt may rent me on occasion, but they no longer OWN me. This enables me to make decisions, regardless of how I may view them in the given moment. On that note, I think I’ll go with the onion rings.
Corey Anne Rotella co-authored the book CNA Edge: Reflections from year one along with Bob Goddard and Hannah Hedges. It’s collection of essays from their blog CNA Edge: a Voice from the trenches of Long Term Care
She also writes commentary about her life experiences on her personal blog Chasing Wonderland https://howdoyoueatanelaphant.wordpress.com/