A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my fear of change. It is definitely a fear that I'm working towards not being afraid of. Eventually. In time. But today, there is another fear that I'd like to discuss. And it's something that I've been dealing with from a very young age .. my fear of making decisions.
The earliest memory I have of being hugely indecisive happened when I was a pre-teen, I believe. My dad and I decided to go to a double-feature at a local drive-in theatre. On the way there, my dad this great idea of instead of buying popcorn and chocolates at the theatre to eat while watching the films that perhaps he and I could share a pie instead. My thoughts on the matter were along the lines of 'Pie=good' ... until he asked which type of pie we should get, blueberry or cherry? I am 30 years old and to this day, I can still feel the panic that I felt that day sitting in my dad's truck.
Blueberry or cherry?
It really shouldn't have been that difficult of a decision. Everyone has some opinion over which they'd prefer, but at the time that this happened I don't think I could have even worked out which I really would have preferred. All I could think about is which flavour I thought my dad would prefer. Because what other people think is at the heart of my fear of making decisions. When I was 11, I felt like my opinions and preferences were less important to those of the people around me. And that one stupid question over pie, of all things, absolutely paralysed me and I went with my stock answer. 'I don't know. What do you want?'
And that thought I didn't matter didn't go away in a hurry. It was decades before I felt comfortable going to Subway because there were too many decisions to be made in the space of a minute - 6 inch or footlong, which type of bread, which type of meat, if I had cheese or not, if I had the sub toasted, the type of vegetables, the type of sauce. Honestly, it was enough to give me panic attacks.
And while it has been a problem for much of my life, I think I'm ready to take back this fear. It's taken me many, many years, but I've finally reached the conclusion that I matter. And what I think and feel and prefer to do is as important as anyone else around me, whether it is friends, family or complete strangers.
So (hopefully) no longer will that question 'should we go to Nandos or Pizza Hut' cause me to be speechless. Neither will the 'what shall we watch tonight?' or the thousands of other completely useless and unimportant decisions that I've been ducking out on over the years.
What have you been afraid of for so long that you're now ready to give up on?
Thanks for sharing this. I think many of us feel that way, albeit in various degrees of it. I used to feel extremely nervous walking across a place/place full of people. I was convinced convinced that every time someone laughed or whispered it was because I had something on my face or something.ReplyDelete
On a random note, I love Subway! We don't have it in the town I live in so it's only available when we go travelling. I have mild panic attacks each time because there are just so many combinations I want to try!
Oh yeah, I wasn't actually kidding about Subway giving me panic attacks. I really did have panic attacks at the thought of eating there and placing my order with someone. I can manage it these days, but there's still always that lingering feeling that I used to feel.Delete
I get this kind of feeling so often, I don't generally have a problem if it's just me - going to Subway doesn't normally present a problem (probably as I have the same every time).ReplyDelete
But choosing a film, picking a pudding (especially when there's limited choice available) - I am hopeless - and I'll always go last or go along with what everyone else wants to do!
Fab post :D
Going last! Going along with everyone else! Yes, I do those things so often as a way out of voicing my own opinion first.Delete
I am really indecisive but I also get really annoyed with people that just say 'I don't mind'! Had a friend in sixth form that was awful at that. But happy to hear you're getting over it, because of course you matter!ReplyDelete
Thanks Anya! You know, I don't do well around other indecisive people either! You'd think I'd understand better where they're coming from, but no!Delete
I'm actually probably TOO bossy...I'm glad you're getting over it, like Anya said above, of course you matter :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Cliona xDelete
I am a very indecisive person. I, too, worry about other people and must try and let this go, although I don't think it's a bad quality to have. My mum does get annoyed with me a lot because I can't make up my mind. I must train myself to get better at making choices quicker! :)ReplyDelete
We should both work towards letting go of our worries about what other people think!Delete
I struggle with this too. Even at work when it's something like which of the three chores I want to do at close, I check with everyone. I only put my say in if none of us mind and I pick trash cause it's better than say bathrooms, but most of the time with chore and lunch break I wonder what others want and don't want to make the decision.ReplyDelete
If it's where to eat, I'm always "I don't care" and it drives some people nuts. Oh well. Maybe I'll get over it or maybe I'll just find the right people to make those decisions when i don't feel like it. Or I could try Sheldon's using DnD dice to make decisions from Big Bang Theory, lol.
Ha! I like the idea of rolling a dice to make decisions.. I felt for a long time that it would be great to just find people who will make the decisions for me too, but this feeling just grew up inside of me 'what do *I* want?' and I'd been ignoring it for too long.Delete
Brilliant post, good for you !! I always tried to make other people happy and put their needs before my own. For them to like me was more important than what I really wanted. Your right it does take years to sort but Im glad I finally realised that what is important is me.ReplyDelete
Also thanks for popping over to our UK Bloggers Linkup, now following you xx
It's not a quick and easy thing to do, changing something that affects so much! But I'm glad you realised that and I'm glad that I'm trying at it :)Delete