Protect Your Peace: Healthy Decision Making
When I am struggling to make a decision, I use a mantra to help me finalize my decision: Protect Your Peace. To the greatest extent possible, I want my decisions (decisions that lead to and feed into my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) to cultivate a peaceful environment both internally and externally. We are not at peace when our minds or spaces are in a state of chaos. This lack of peace is detrimental to our mood, self-worth, relationships, and productivity.
So, how can you protect your peace when making decisions? I consider the who, what, when, where, why and how of the decision.
Who – Who can you check in with for helpful guidance? Who will be impacted? Who needs to be involved in this decision? Who will you disappoint (This is a trick question. The person you need not disappoint is yourself!)?
What – When making a decision, I ask myself, what is my motive? If your motive involves trying to change someone else or “make” someone else feel a certain way, rethink it! You are not that powerful. Focus on the things you can control which involve yourself not others.
When – When do you need to make this decision? Is there actually urgency or do you have time to think about it? Rushed or impulsive decisions often lead to chaotic results. It is almost always ok to buy yourself some time.
Where – Where will this decision lead you? Does it lead to a healthier version of yourself? Does it lead you closer or further away from your ideal life and ideal self?
Why – Why are you making this decision? Are you people pleasing? Is your ego making this decision (That is, are you trying to impress others? Trying to compensate for insecurities?)?
How – How will this decision impact me and my peace? Will I feel more tired? More resentful? Proud of myself? Consider the short-term and long-term impact.
SIMPLE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR PEACE:
· Say no.
· Cut ties with toxic people who are peace stealers (read more about peace stealers below).
· Set boundaries.
· Ask for help.
· Put your ego side. Other people can do it.
· Change your mindset. Your worth is not measured by productivity, dollars, stuff.
Some people are peace stealers. We all know one or many. They are emotional vampires. These are people who are often in crisis mode. They gossip. They focus on the negative. They drain you of your energy. Distance yourself from peace stealers.
Extreme indecision can also be a symptom of a greater mental health issue. If indecision or a pattern of poor decision making has become problematic in your life, contact a therapist. A therapist can help diagnostically and can help you learn healthy decision making skills that can be life changing.
If you’re interested in psychotherapy to help you better prioritize self-care, click here.
Author: Dr. Beverly Pedroche