Apr 11, 2009

Decisions, decisions....

One of my biggest challenges lately is having fewer second thoughts and just letting life roll off my shoulders. I do not consider myself O.C.D.(obsessive-compulsive) but I am a "serious" person. This is in part to being an ACA (we have to learn HOW to have fun in our lives) and being an oldest sibling. I think it mostly has to do with having to learn how to have fun in our lives.

There's no doubt that since I've sung with a rock band I have loosened up (at least on stage) but I still find myself in my daily life worrying, especially once I've made a decision to go through with something. It can be anything as small as an email or phone call or just something I said to someone. Or it can be a larger decision like deciding what to do next in my life.

I met with my ACA sponsor (and now one of my best friends) for coffee the other day. In telling our recent stories of our lives and healing, we informed each other of our latest issues:

"Mine is in not feeling guilty." she told me.

"Mine is in not second guessing myself," I said.

We laughed in that these two issues were similar.Sometimes I feel guilt over making a decision and she second guesses herself when she feels guilt. Guilt and second guessing are time wasters.
Fact is, once a decision is made there should not be any guilt or remorse. Decisions are funny things because no matter how good or bad the decision seems (how does that expression go? "Hindsight is 20/20?") We need to reassure ourselves we made a decision based on the knowledge we had and our feelings at the time.

My girlfriend feels guilty because she struggles with the her "old self" wanting to isolate.
Going along with this, she claims she feels the most guilty when she doesn't return friends' phone calls (like mine) and as more and more time goes by more and more fear and guilt sets in. Then she claims she feels like she has put the friendship at a risk and decides its too late to call. I tell her to remind herself that its okay and we understand and are not mad that she doesn't always return our calls.

In the book Streetwise Time Management author Marshall Cook says:

"You Make the call and then you act" (and you shouldn't even spend one second second-guessing!")

He stresses the need to practice the art of instant response: recognizing the options, making the call and acting quickly. Its the new 3 R's:

Read (the situation)

Reflect (on the choices)

Respond with decisive actions all without

Remorse (the fourth R)

What if we made the wrong choice?

Cook says, "Wrong choices fall into one of two categories: your choice either didn't actually make any significant difference or it did. Banish the second guessing from your mind--its a waste of energy!"

So, as I learn to lose any possible remorse of a bad or changed decision, I'll have to tell my friend to banish her guilty feelings. Its good to know both of these issues stem from being an adult child. In the alcoholic home the alcoholic is great at laying heavy guilt trips if we even thought of blaming the problems on alcohol. So we've been conditioned to second guess and feel guilt and like anything, becoming aware is the first step in breaking a cycle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!