If you’d asked me a year ago whether I’d describe myself as indecisive, I’d have probably dithered around for a moment or so before half-heartedly settling on no. Says it all really…
Relatively recently, I had a moment of clarity. Whilst 2016 has been the year of ‘touch the cow, do it now‘ for me (more on that in this video on my YouTube channel – it’s worth a watch, I promise!) it was only in the past few months that I realised something important: I haven’t always been the best at making decisions. It sounds pretty meh as epiphanies go, but bear with me whilst I explain why this was such a biggie for me.
Picture the scenario: you’re at a crossroads (a la Alice when she’s speaking to the Cheshire Cat). You have two paths to take – you can see down the pathways up to a certain point, but ultimately you can’t be entirely sure what you’ll encounter along the way. What do you do? Stand at the crossroads for a month trying to guess the consequences of every eventuality of walking down every route, or use your intuition and intelligence to choose one and get the hell on with it? If you dither, you’ve wasted a month; if you choose one based on your knowledge at the time, get half way down and run into a spot of bother, not only are you miles ahead of where you were but you could well look back on the adversity as a life lesson.
There’s nothing wrong with making an informed decision, but how long should that really take? And how can you be sure that you have all of the information you need to make that decision right there and then? Your gut should tell you if something is just totally bloody stupid or not. It’s clever, more so than we give it credit for.
Let me give you some examples. First, a big one:
In June this year, I made a decision. I wanted to act. My acting encounters didn’t extend beyond playing Prince Charming in my year 8 school production of Snow White, but what I lacked in experience I made up for in pure passion and determination. I wanted to lay my performances out for an acting coach to rip to shreds if needs be, whatever it took to help shape me into a better actor. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to act, but whilst focussing on my studies then my presenting career, it just never happened. Touch the cow, do it now came into play and I made the decision to apply for a class.
I can honestly say that creatively, I have never felt more alive. Going into my first class I was so nervous I could have thrown up, but once I started working on scripts and techniques with my classmates and coaches I just became hungrier for the knowledge and skills. I am head over heels in love with acting, and take each critique and note to heart in the best way – so I can learn and improve and be the best actor I can be. I made the decision to give it everything, and next week I’m going to be in an incredibly play at the Lowry theatre (more information and tickets here!) and did an audition for one of the biggest television shows in the UK earlier this week. Imagine if I’d spent another six months dithering about the decision to start training? I have a million things left to learn but I’m doing it.
And now, a little one:
My 2017 Diary
Nope, I don’t mean my schedule for the upcoming year. I literally mean the little notebook I write down my plans in. Let me explain…
Every year I go to WH Smith’s and buy a new-year diary. I am quite set in my ways in terms of the style I like (one page per day etc) but for some reason, every single year it takes me WEEKS to pick a damn diary. I umm and ahh about the design, material and colour – you’d think I was choosing a bloody wedding dress. But this year, I made the decision to, well, decide. I went into the shop, saw a pretty awesome iridescent number that I liked and bought it. Done. Dusted. I cut 5 trips into WH Smith’s down to 1 – I’ve literally bought myself time!
So you see, my point is this – there’s a time for weighing up options (so long as you don’t get so lost in the process that you end up doing precisely nada about it) and there’s a time for just going for it. I’ve decided (see, there I go again) that most of the time, doing something is better than doing nothing, because even if you fall flat on your face at least you’ve learnt something along the way. Of course, I’m not advocating recklessness (remember what I said about listening to your gut, intuition and intelligence?) but I’m done with standing in place and expecting things to happen.
As an end note, I also believe this has a lot to do with my beloved Law Of Attraction too. Making decisions isn’t always about what’s happening right there and then – it’s also about choosing what you want for the future. When we were in the process of buying our apartment, I knew I wanted it so badly and would be devastated if it fell through. So I made the decision that it was ours already, the Universe had delivered it and we were just going through the motions to get the keys. This was non-negotihtble in my mind – I had decided. I thanked the Universe and visualised us living day to day in our dream home. I’m typing this sat in the living room I visualised for so many months. I’m here and it’s awesome. Dream, believe, achieve.