For people with anxiety or anxious tendencies, making a decision by saying “yes” or “no” can feel like the kiss of death.
When faced with a decision or a new opportunity, the internal dialogue of anxiety can sound like this;
Is this the right thing?
What if it’s the wrong thing?
How do I know what to decide?
Maybe I should ask (insert name here).
Or maybe I should ask (insert innumerable names here because it doesn’t matter who I ask, I still won’t know what to choose).
If I wait long enough maybe it will decide itself.
If I make choice A, I don’t want to miss out on choice B.
I will decide not to decide, but is that a good decision?
Those who know or live with anxious people can be driven insane by watching this agonizing drawn out process, if the anxious person verbalizes their internal dialogue. If they don’t verbalize, anxious people can often inspire frustration from changing their minds repeatedly, delaying decisions, or simply missing out on things because they “decide not to decide”.
So what’s an anxious person to do? Try saying “yes” or “no”. When we are caught in anxiety we are in an automatic reactive state that illicits an automatic reaction. This reaction is usually a consistent “yes” or “no” answer which can leave us in an uncomfortable position. Getting out of this uncomfortable position then causes even more anxiety. Yikes!
Whatever your auto response is, try the opposite. If you are usually a “no” person, the next time you are asked something, stop for a moment, take a deep breathe and say “yes”. Then see what happens.
Over time, your auto response will not be so reactionary and you can then think clearly about what you really want. You regain control over your choices again when you know what you really want. To figure out what you really want, sometimes you need to say “yes” or “no” to new ways of being to see what’s possible for you.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” stated Franklin D. Roosevelt. When we live in anxiety, we let fear make our choices. Now that is scary!
Get back in the driver seat and stop fear from living your life.
If you or someone you know needs help with this, call me. No one has to live through fear or anxiety alone.