THE BLOG
10/27/2014 12:47 pm ET Updated Dec 27, 2014

With a Conscience: 'Decisions, Decisions'

John Howard via Getty Images

"Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant." -- Tony Robbins

"Should I or shouldn't I?" As we toss and turn, scrunching our pillow throughout the night, we face difficult, life changing decisions and they petrify us. Scarier still is when we know that we have to decide to change and have no clue as to how to make the move. "What if we're wrong?"

I hate being wrong. I do. However, the older I get, the more I am learning to embrace my mistakes, perhaps even love the idea of making them. I hate being afraid. Decision-making is scary particularly when it affects not just ourselves but the people in our inner circle. We don't want to hurt anyone. We don't want to inconvenience anyone. We don't like the discomfort. We hate conflict. These are the natural stages, or precursors to making the really big, life-altering decisions of our lives. It's all very personal and all too "real." Change is incredibly difficult, and it's supposed to be because this is how gratitude is born.

The only way we know we have to change or decide what's appropriate, is when our desire for change is so strong that it stares at us in the mirror each and every day. It follows us like our shadow. (Keep in mind; you need the sun or a really bright light to make a shadow. The light is brightest as we move towards it) It calls to us while we're drying our hair, driving to work and then the true predictor, when we discuss it openly with our loved ones, and our trusted friends. But if we are waiting for anyone's approval, beware. Decision-making is not based on anyone's approval. The decision is owned by us, alone. It's the one and only time where loneliness or lonesomeness is an important component. It's required because if we put too much weight on the approval of others, we will never act on what our gut intuition tells us to be true. We need to decide and to commit to our decisions. Beyond marriage, parenthood and career, the commitment to change or decide is what drives us to making us feel whole. We are what we decide.

I have found that most of the really hard decisions I have made, have resulted from love, from passion. If love was involved, the decision was clear. That goes for loving ourselves too. That's the hard part though. When we love ourselves less, the decisions we must make, don't get made. Time passes by but there is no personal progress. Decision-making is personal.

The best decisions we make can often come by making smaller ones. We take small steps. We change with a single step and get used to the idea that change is going to come because we must move forward. Slowly, we start feeling better. We can discuss or plan and like a waltz move gracefully into our new world. We know what we want and with each small step, others will appreciate what we are doing and how we are doing it. The universe opens. We're no longer exhausted or emotionally frozen. The alarm goes off, and we get dressed and we face our demons. If we're lucky we may even learn to love them.

We've heard from those who have made an indelible mark on the world, that success means risk taking and the embrace of "no regrets." But there are always doubts and when those doubts surface, we must look at what we have and where we've come from to appreciate where we might be heading. It's not always important to know. It's important to love. Fear becomes faith. Gratitude overpowers regret and anger. Or at least, it can, if we allow it.

When I was 18, I walked, no ran away from a passion of mine. I let one disappointment shatter all of my passion, all of my dreams. It was devastating. I was afraid of how much love I had. It was easy to do too because I chose fear over tenacity. I chose fear over passion and drive. But here's the "rub." Our passions are not realized nor developed until we're ready to receive them and handle them. We need advocacy and we need mentoring or support but no one needs to tell us what is right for our soul. We know in our hearts what is right and no one needs to tell us otherwise.