Goodbye doesn’t always mean the end, sometimes it means the beginning.
We have the ability to choose exactly what we let into our lives, yet somehow this freedom feels more like restriction.
Why is making a choice so hard?
Because saying yes to one thing means saying no to countless others.
The F-word … F.E.A.R.
“Better the devil that you know than the devil that you don’t”
There is a fear of the unknown that comes with saying to goodbye to an option, and worse when an option says goodbye to us. Walking away from one choice is scary because it means walking straight into the unknown.
We know we can’t have it all … So why does picking a direction seem so daunting? We can’t let our fear of the unknown keep us from making a choice.
- Why do we hesitate to make plans with a friend? We know we want to spend time with them, but what if we change our mind and want to do something else? What if a better offer comes along? By hesitating to make a choice we run the risk of spending the evening alone because we were too afraid to commit to one direction.
- Why do we hesitate declining a new work opportunity that we know isn’t really right for us? We know this new offer isn’t our best fit but it isn’t bad either. What if something better never comes along? What if we take the new offer and get stuck in something we don’t really want to do? Don’t we want to wait for the best offer for us instead of settling for just okay.
When Good Just Isn’t Good Enough
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great … Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” - Jim Collins
That good enough option is hard to walk away from so we are left paralyzed, unable to make a decision. What if nothing better comes along? What if I am being to picky, after all a good option isn’t bad.
Making a choice can mean getting exactly what you want. It means saying yes to something you are excited about, something you have been waiting for, something you worked hard for.
It can also mean saying no to all the other possible outcomes you imagined “might” happen. It can mean walking away from an option that was good for us, just not great for us.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where -”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
“… so long as I get somewhere.”
“Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Personally I cringe just a little bit every time I hear the quote “When one door closes another one opens.” While I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment, I think it is perfectly fair (and necessary) to mourn the closing of a door.
Having said that, you should still get excited about what comes next, even if you don’t know what that it. It is okay to not know where you are going or how you are going to get there. When in doubt – keep moving. Embrace your uncertainty instead of getting stuck.
Let go of the story you are telling yourself. Quit focusing on what maybe, could have, one day, possibly happened and get excited about what is happening in front of you right now.
You are not a victim of your circumstances. Remember that somehow, someway you chose this:
- You said yes when you could have (maybe should have) said no.
- You said no because you were too afraid to say yes.
- Or maybe you are exactly where you want to be and loving the ride.
Either way, you played an active role to get here. Find the power of your voice and let it change you, motivate you, or inspire you to make a choice.
You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything.
By choosing to go one direction there is always the possibility you might miss out on something. The irony is that by trying to do or be everything you actually accomplish nothing and lose everything.