From Indecision to Inner Peace: How to Make Decisions You Can Stand Behind
Hey friend, how's January treating you so far? 🌱
It's been A WEEK over here. We wrapped up our beach vacay and my last week at my job, which means we are now refreshed and fully recharged for 2023.
Who knew I'd be starting the year with so many (virgin) strawberry daiquiris and returning to solopreneurship, but I'm here for this plot twist!
When people ask why I quit my job, I give a short spiel on "integrity" and "mental health"—but really I just want to spend more time reading books on psychology.
Only half kidding. 😬
Which leads me to this week's topic, a question I’ve been asked about often lately:
How do I make decisions I won't regret?
Before we get into it, a massive shoutout to Social Nomads, this week's sponsor.
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Alright, onto the fun stuff.
Back in 2015, I interviewed James Clear, the NYT bestselling author of Atomic Habits, on my podcast about his approach to creating new habits.
It was a big deal at the time, but he was too media-trained and I too rookie to get anything different than what's already in his writing. Regardless, it was a thrill.
My favorite thing he's ever written still informs how I live my life, all these years later:
What this means is that how we think about who we are directs what we do.
- If I think of myself as "an active, healthy person" → I go to the gym a few times a week.
- If I think of myself as "a creative, fearless person" → I write and put work out into the world every day.
- If I think of myself as "a person that loves deeply" → I tell my children I love them— and I like them—every day.
But it doesn't just apply to habits.
Thinking about our behaviors as a function of our identity is a powerful framework for informing how we show up in the world.
As a parent, I used this framework to create mantras and guidelines to set the tone for our family life:
- "In this house, we are kind to each other."
- "We are a team, and we act like one."
- "We don't watch YouTube." Currently a work in progress. 🤪
This helps to inspire good behavior in the kiddos. At 8 / 5 / 2 years old, it's no easy feat, but these help remind the kids of what we expect from them.
The same concept applies to my own behavior, as well.
- I'm a good friend that checks in on my closest people on the daily.
- I keep my cool and stay kind (or at least cordial) in the face of strife.
- I answer to God over anyone else, followed by my family.
- I'm leaving a positive legacy.
I've created a strong sense of identity by consistently embodying these values and behaviors, which contributes to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
The sense of identity is then reinforced. And round it round it goes. 🔁
Which is how I make decisions I can stand behind. When my behaviors are in line with my identity, I don't experience indecision; I live with inner peace.
How to move from indecision to inner peace
You might be wondering how this applies to your life. I'm not an expert on your life, nor an expert on anything really, but I can share my own experience.
If I were starting to think through this for the first time, here's how I would likely go about it:
- Consider what your current identity is and how it may be influencing your actions.
- Take a moment to reflect on the identity you'd like to manifest.
- Make a list of choices and behaviors that are in line with that "ideal identity" you've laid out.
- Make a concrete plan to start embodying that identity in your actions and—this is crucial!—your thoughts.
Your output will be so different than mine because we're all trying to lead different lives —and thank goodness for that. But I hope thinking through these steps help steer you closer toward the ideal life you'd like to live: in what you do but also in your daily inner experience.
It may be idealistic of me, but I believe there's a better way to live out there, just waiting for us to start making micro-changes to our thoughts and behaviors.
While writing this article for you, I came across this line:
It resonated with me deeply. Depending on how you want to feel this year, what are you reaching for? What about integrity and inner peace; will you reach for that?
Regret is a fallacy. Hindsight is 20/20. You'll never regret a decision that's in line with your true self.
Do I regret taking the job that ended up being toxic? No—it was an important (and only mildly painful) step in the right direction. I'm not just wearing rose-colored glasses—it's correct attribution of the gifts that even setbacks can bring.
Following my identity ensures I make decisions I can stand behind forever.
James Clear says so.
Okiedok, that’s it for this week.
Hope you got a few ideas from reading this. May you have a peaceful week with more hours of sleep than usual!
I'll be back in 7 days with another self-work strategy, to make life 10x better for you and everyone around you.
Sending you all the best vibes ✨
— Marcella ✌️
PS. Thanks again to my friends at Social Nomads for sponsoring this week's send.
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