Read This When You Have To Make A Major Decision And You’re Absolutely Terrified

Jeff Bergen
Jeff Bergen

First, know this: You are not alone.

Breathe. In. Out. Listen, you are not alone. You are not the only soul caught in limbo, not the only one who is staring at their reflection in the mirror and wondering why.

These decisions we make come in various sizes and packages, wrapped with different recycled paper or colored ribbons. We’re never sure when they will come, or what message they will bring, or what path they will lead us on. Yet we’re trusted to open them, to decipher them, and then to choose where our next step will be. This is terrifying, I know.

But first, find comfort in the fact that there are thousands of others in the same place, wracking their brains for answers and staring at the night skies for some type of sign. This anxiety, this indecision you feel—it is carried in the hearts and on the shoulders of others, just like you. Breathe. You will get through this.

Pull your mind away for a moment.

Close your eyes. Now think of something, anything else. You need to distract yourself for a moment. You need to take the pressure off.

Remind yourself of childhood, of swinging on the playground swings, your little legs kicking and the sun warming your cheeks. You were weightless then. Bring yourself to that innocence, to that place filled with love, not fear.

Too much thinking about this decision will lead to over-thinking and over-analyzing, which will make you feel paralyzed. So pull your mind elsewhere and regulate your heartbeat again.

Look back at past decisions.

You have made hundreds of decisions, thousands of decisions to lead you to this exact moment. Right here. Right now. Look how you have grown and changed and shifted into the person you were meant to be and are still becoming. You have made it.

How did you do it? What did you decide before? What did you trust? What path did you take?

Look back at the decisions you have made and how they turned out. And trust yourself.

Consider the models around you.

When you are feeling stuck, consider those around you—mothers, fathers, teachers, mentors, friends. See how each of these beautiful people have made decisions in their lives. What did they do when they were staring at their reflection in the mirror, wondering how, wondering why?
Were they just as terrified at first? Did they trust themselves?

Trust them until you can trust yourself.

Take in all the advice around you, but hold it at arm’s length.

You are closer to your decision now, feeling more and more ready. Your breathing is regulated, yet you are nervous. This is normal. You will always be nervous because you are human.

It is almost time. You have listened. You have soaked up thoughts and lessons and advice from other voices, those who have been in your shoes and felt just as terrified.

Consider their advice, but trust in yourself. Do not make a decision that the world wants you to make, but make a decision that is solely yours. A decision that you can say aloud to the reflection in the mirror. A decision you can own.

Trust that inner voice.

You are ready now. Still terrified, still unsure, but that is a part of the process.

Now you need to trust that inner voice, that feeling, that tug at your heart when you close your eyes or open your mouth. No matter how ridiculous that little nag is, trust it. You know more than you think.

Be at peace.

Now decide. And be at peace. No matter what decision you make, you will never be stuck. Even in the toughest decisions, there will always be a way to turn around, to change, to pick a new path, a new direction.

There is not one concrete answer or ending. For every decision, there will be many more. More to make in the aftermath, more to make when things completely falter, even more to make when it seems like everything fell together as it should.

This world is ever spinning, ever changing, and so are you. Trust in yourself, in your beautiful, beautiful soul and know that whatever you decide will help you grow, and will become a piece of the wonderful, complex person you are. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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