The fear of making choices and subsequently of owning the consequences of our actions keeps so many people from living the life they truly desire in their heart. This is something I long struggled with, and still do to some extent in work and my personal life. I have long been an indecisive person out of fear of making the wrong choice, but it is far better to choose your own destiny and make a mistake, than to let others determine the course of your life for you.
On the topic of choices, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
Risk and fear—we will do anything to avoid them both. Where did we get the idea that it is bad to feel fear and that we cannot handle our fear? We will do anything to avoid the fear of making a choice. We have another baby, or take on more work, or get busy with a new project around the house—anything.
We have so much fear of facing ourselves and confronting the choices we need to make that we are willing to wreck our lives and the lives of those around us in order not to have to make a choice.
We always resent it when others make decisions for us, and we do not want to be responsible for our choices. If we can manage to get someone else to make a choice for us, then we do not have to own the consequences.
By not making a choice, we hand our fates over to other people. We always have a choice, even when it may not seem that way. This applies to so many areas of our life. At work, I often felt as though I had no choice but to do every task and assignment that was asked of me, whether it come from my boss or peer or another department entirely. I feared that if I were to say no, I would be passed over for other opportunities and would not only not be successful, but would be labeled a failure. In my personal life, I feared that if I were to say no to invitations from friends and family, I would be thought of as a terrible person and eventually lose those people in my life.
Now, though, I understand that people respect you more when you say no. Not only that, but when you say no and stand by it (or any decision you make for that matter) people also value your yes more. To choose is to set the course of your own life, and that is a power I would not hand over to anyone now.