Question

Personality

How do I stop obsessing about whether I'm making the right decision?

A Answers (2)

  • AWilliam Stillman, Health Education, answered

    The answer to your question may lie in the question. You’ve used the word “obsessing” and I would wonder what that implies exactly. If you continually berate yourself or are embroiled in an internal debate that involves intrusive thoughts, the issue may not be so much about wrestling with an important decision as it may be about your state of anxiety and mental wellness. If your “obsession” is causing you to lose sleep, withdraw from loved ones, feel indifferent about eating, become tardy, or become so distracted that your productivity decreases, you should seek professional support for what may be anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    If obsessing about making the right decision is more about second-guessing your choice(s), you may benefit from spiritual counseling. You may be grappling with weak or low self-esteem which may cause you to feel uncomfortable or incapable of doing the right thing. Spiritual or religious counseling may support you to begin trusting yourself and feeling more confident in the decisions you are making, especially if you feel as if you’re not making them alone but in partnership with a higher authority.

    Worrying about doing the right thing reflects your sensitivity and caring. But please know that making the “right” decision is entirely a matter of perception and individual interpretation.

  • ADeepak Chopra, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, youare basically assuming that the universe will reward you for onething and punish you for another. This isn't a correct assumptionbecause the universe is flexible - it adapts to every decision youmake. Right and wrong are only mental constructs. Immediately I can hear strong emotional objections to this. Whatabout Mister Right? What about the perfect job? What about buyingthe best car? We are all in the habit of looking like consumers atpeople, jobs, and cars, wanting best value for the money. But inreality the decisions we label as right and wrong are arbitrary.Mister Right is one of a thousand people you could spend asatisfying life with. The best job is impossible to define, giventhat jobs turn out to be good or bad depending on a dozen factorsthat come into play only after you start the job. And the best carmay get driven into an accident two days after you buy it. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, itworks around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only aseries of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, andaction that you experience. If this sounds too mystical, referagain to your body. Every significant vital sign - bodytemperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brainactivity, and so on - alters the moment you decide to do anything.A runner's metabolism can't afford to be as low as the metabolismof someone reading a book because without increased air intake andfaster heart rate, the runner would suffocate and collapse withmuscle spasms. Decisions are signals telling your body, mind and environment tomove in a certain direction. It may turn out afterward that youfeel dissatisfied with the direction you've taken, but to obsessover right and wrong decisions is the same as taking no directionat all. Keep in mind that you are the choice-maker, which meansthat who you are is far more important than any single choice youhave ever made or ever will make.
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How do I make choices without getting trapped?