Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Sometimes there seems to be thousands of them: ‘right’ ones, ‘wrong’ ones, socially-sanctioned ones, ‘impossible’ ones, amazing ones, fruitless ones, loop roads, and dead ends.
Other times, it seems there are only a handful to pick from.
Yet, even if there are only two options, you still have an important choice to make about the direction to take your life in, and the fear of possibly choosing the wrong path can potentially paralyse anyone in their tracks and feel stuck.
THE ALWAYS-KNEW-WHAT-I-WANTED-IN-LIFE ME
Among my school mates, I used to be one who knew exactly what I wanted in life. That was the plus point that helped me select the course that I wanted to dive into in Uni even before I finished secondary school. It also helped me clinch a job with the prestigious Singapore Airlines before I graduated from Uni. On top of that, it helped catapult my career quickly and got me a manager title at a renowned fitness studio company by the age of 23. All thanks to my certainty and clear goals in my mind.
Despite all my heartbreaks and failed relationships with distasteful men, I had zero doubts about the direction I was heading to in my life.
I didn't hesitate or waste precious time at any juncture of my life.
I was soaring. Nothing could stop me.
A TWIST OF FATE
I thought I had it had all figured out. I was going to become a Singapore citizen one day, buy an apartment, bring my parents over from Malaysia to live with me, and continue to build my career.
After my many heartbreaks, I remember praying really hard to God that I was sick of falling for the wrong kind of guy and getting my heart stabbed again and again. I told God, that I'm perfectly fine if I end up dying alone, but if he ever were to bless me with the opportunity to meet a good man, I only wish that he is a kind, caring, patient, truthful, and faithful man. Those were my exact criteria.
Little that I know that after taking a break from relationships for a year or so, while learning to love myself a little more, this man that I prayed for one day appeared. With that, my life was about to change 180 degrees beyond my wildest imagination.
Life would probably have been less complicated if he wasn't a German that was only in Singapore for holiday. And it sure as hell wouldn't have made me even consider giving up everything that I worked so hard for to build in Singapore. There I was at a juncture in my life, having to make a big life-changing decision - to stay in Singapore and forgo a special kind of love that I've never felt before? Or go to Germany and choose love over career and family?
So how do you know which life choices to make when your life can potentially be impacted big time? How do you know which is the right path, and not fear that you might be making a wrong decision?
The good news is, there are a few strategies you can use which have personally helped me a lot in such moments. It'll help you gain clarity and to not let fear hold you back from making a decision and taking a step forward.
Learning through video is more your thing? No problem. Then check out the video below.
WHICH PATH SHOULD YOU TAKE?
Recently some one on Instagram (@trishrlee) asked me how is he to know which life path is the right path to take without the constant fear of worrying he might be making a mistake?
If this sounds like you, then let's dive into some strategies to help you right away.
#1 FAITH AND VALUES
Roy E. Disney once said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier."
What does your moral foundation and faith say? Learn to trust these guides and work to strengthen them. If ever you find yourself being pushed into another person's expectations of you, then remind yourself of this quote by the highly respected Michelle Obama, “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values, and follow my own moral compass, then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”
#2 IDENTIFY WHAT YOU HATE
Many people may advice you to dig deep to find out what you love, but what if you worked the other way around and started with what you don't like instead?
By eliminating the types of career paths, types of relationships, health and life conditions that you don't want for the future, you're able to get a clearer picture of what you do want and start making a clear plan and take the appropriate decision to work towards that reality that you want.
#3 COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Make a pros and cons list and be truthful to yourself. What would you gain or lose from each path you take?
Don't just do the comparing in your mind. Physically write it out. By writing all the points out in clear view, you'll gain clarity on which path is more suitable for you, and which is not.
#4 THE REGRET TEST
You can use regret to help you in your decision making process when choosing a life path.
Look to the end of your life, and ask yourself the following questions:
If you don't pursue what you're thinking about, will you ultimately regret it when it's all said and done?
If you tried and things didn't work out, would you feel at peace knowing you gave it a shot?
If you can answer yes to both questions, you're probably on the right track.
#5 INTERVIEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
To get a better understanding what it's really like. Sometimes what you imagine and what's real are completely different. You may have a conversation with one of these people and realize you actually don't want to pursue that path.
Ask them about all the doubts and fears you have in your mind. Ask them about the struggles associated with following that path and how they overcame it. Ask them how they knew that path was right for them. Ask them for their friendly advice what they would do if they were you.
After much consideration and sleepless nights, the moment has arrived. It's time for you to...
DECIDE, COMMIT, AND DON'T JUDGE YOURSELF
Research has shown that choices we make on a day to day basis are influenced based on our circumstances, age, past experiences, mood, values, beliefs, mindset, and information we have about a certain thing. That's a lot of influencing factors if you ask me.
From one day to another, our thoughts and preferences on a certain decision can vary. The key is to commit and make the best of your decision once you've made it.
Trust yourself that you've made the best choice possible based on your given circumstances and knowledge.
If one day in the future, the path you chose is not working out fully as how you had hoped for, don't judge yourself and don't regret your decision because ask yourself this: How sure are you that if you chose the other path that you didn't take, that things would have been better off for you? For all you know, it could have been an even worse choice.
You need to understand that making life choices is quite like deciding what dish you want for your lunch (sounds a little funny I know, but bear with me). Let's say you are offered a nice plate of juicy, tender chicken rice vs a plate of delicious pad thai noodles. Normally, most people would be able to only stomach one of the dishes. Let's say you love both dishes, and you can't decide, and so you have both. You can but you might make yourself sick from overeating.
Say you choose the noodles and you forgo the rice. Once you've decided, focus on living in the moment, enjoy the choice you made, savour the noodles, and don't look back. If for some unfortunate reason the noodles doesn't meet your expectations, you don't need to beat yourself up over it.
Chances are, the rice is still possible to be ordered and enjoyed in the future. And even if it's not the exact kind of chicken rice which is similar to what you knew back then, perhaps you might get to enjoy a more exotic variation of that dish.
Once you’ve watched or read through this article, I’d love to hear from you.
What steps have you taken to help you in making life-changing decisions? Do share your knowledge and experience in the comments below.
Share as much detail as you can. Many lovely souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough.
I really hope this helps. All the best in building up your courage to choose a path that is aligned with your values, a path which would bring you the most meaning, fulfilment, and joy in your heart 😘
Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and adding your thoughts. Now let go of your fears and know that there is always a choice.
Live strong, and have courage to create a life you love because your happiness matters.
With SO much 💖,
P.S. Have a question you’d love to ask me? Do give me your Q on my page Ask Trish Anything and I'll personally get back to you with some empowering steps to help guide you through your challenges. I look forward to serve and help you towards a brighter future, a future you've always dreamt of. Do give me your Q here.
Knowing when to ask for help and guidance is not weakness. If anything, it's a strength.
P.P.S. **BOOKS I RECOMMEND TO HELP YOU CREATE A LOVING, LASTING RELATIONSHIP**
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