I’ve noticed that hesitation and indecisiveness strike most often in situations where we have a tremendous amount of control but aren’t sure exactly what we want the outcome to be like. On paper, the easiest thing to do is try everything out one by one but more often than not, I find myself justifying hesitation by blowing the little things way out of proportion until I basically go braindead and have to sleep it off. For example:
I can go to the store for an energy drink and see that two different kinds are on sale. The one I want is $1.50 but the kind I never get because of how expensive it is costs $1.70 — thirty cents less than I was already expecting to pay for the other drink before the sale. In that moment, I could just grab the cheaper one I wanted but instead my brain is flooded with chatter regarding my two, new options.
What if I actually like this other energy drink more?
Should I try it instead?
What does that say about my loyalty or ability to stick with a plan?
Maybe I’m too loyal and I should always try new things?
What if I like the more expensive drink so much that I don’t want to buy the cheaper drink again?
Maybe this is the time I should stop drinking energy drinks and buy juice?
Should I really be replacing caffeine for sugar though?
All of these thoughts will be racing through my head just while staring at the aisle. In that small amount of time, no matter what drink I pick, it’s going to feel like I picked the wrong thing. It’s not uncommon for that inner monologue of mine to turn into subconscious thoughts that feels inescapable: I’ll be driving down the road, sipping that energy drink, then a line in the song I’m listening to reminds me of an insecurity. I compare that feeling to the ones I had in the drink aisle and suddenly I don’t exactly know why I feel like I’m completely wasting my life.
I get home and want to relax by playing a game but I’m confronted with five different options I could be playing. Once again, I don’t know what to chose… I feel overwhelmed by a lot of things… then I realize that I’ve found myself mindlessly watching YouTube for the past 3 hours. I didn’t play a new game, I didn’t start any of the projects I was suppose to work on and now I’m starving, have no food made but I’ve still got to do the dishes from earlier. I feel helpless and ask why I should even pick myself up out of this rut.
Moments like these used to plague me. I become fearful of venturing out of my comfort zone and the more I let my anxiety control me, the more ashamed of myself I became. Only recently did I learn the medical definition for this affliction — Generalized Anxiety Disorder — but I can easily say that it’s plagued me for as long as I can remember. Most of us are prone to suffer from periods of anxiety for various reasons. Whether we recognize these periods or not, I believe that actively seeking positivity and choosing to remove ourselves from people, places or things that impose negative emotion is only beneficial. Let’s call this enlightenment: fighting back.
I wouldn’t say that fighting back has ‘cured’ any anxieties of mine but developing habits that directly counter the bad thoughts have greatly improved my ability to imagine myself. Once I truly started believing that I’m entitled to a more happy existence, I grew more comfortable testing the waters of the status quo surrounding me. This meant dreaming bigger dreams and setting out on journeys that could get me to where I wanted to go even if I fail along the way.
Your appraisal of the passage of time starts to change when you do this; you realize how much of it slips by without your approval and how much of it you have to spend to get you where you want to be. This is when recognizing hesitation and indecision fall back into the mix: if you ever find yourself so wrapped up in thought that you are standing still for way too long, then it’s important to recognize that doing anything at this point is better than doing nothing. Standing still feels identical to apathy and as we’ve learned: feeling like you aren’t caring for yourself is a quick way to actually stop caring for yourself. In these moments, it doesn’t bother me what I’m using my time for as long as I’m not doing things that enable me to falling back down that rabbit hole. I’ve fought tooth and nail to escape that bottomless pit and I deserve to never return.
The quicker you get to moving, the easier it is to start running. Sprint towards your goals with all the effort you’ve got, especially if you’re someone who can get knocked down easily. Start on projects; tell yourself you’re going to do something and commit to doing it no matter what. Surround yourself in people who help you find clarity. Ponder what your health and nutrition is really like. Educating yourself is going to leave you feeling more refreshed than a Netflix binge so consider using those small gaps of free time for it instead.
No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you deserve to find that chunk of happiness. You’ll have to earn it for yourself but it’s important to remember that the more you put in, the more other people are going to be ready to support you. Asking for help is essential and so is forgiveness. Things change, so do you and so do other people. The quicker you can find true salvation from the burdens you once faced, the quicker you’ll have the energy to get back to doing what you love.
Keep at it… what ever you’re going through, I know you can fight through it. If your journey is self-improvement then I want you to know that you have an ally in me. Message me on Twitter about anything you’d like to talk about, @SheeshFr.