We all have to make decisions everyday, from what to wear, to what to eat, to what to say in particular situations. And some folks are especially sensitive to perceived criticism around their decisions. This can also show up as a strong internal critic that gets on your case if you make the “wrong” decision, and in the same breath will give you a hard time for being “weak” and indecisive when not taking action. Damn! You just can’t win!
Dealing with the deeper developmental patterns around this internalized critic is the ticket to deeper systemic change you can also do yourself a favor and try these in the moment tips when making decisions:
1. Do not make any major decisions when you are tired and/or hungry. Your brain is not able to recognize the long-term ramifications of decisions when basic needs are not being met. Evolutionary your biology is set up to focus its energy on getting food and rest not holding the bigger issues that could arise when you send that desperate or angry text. Check out this Hidden Brain podcast episode entitled, “Tunnel Vision” its really good.
2. If you’re trying to get something from someone and you’re rehearsing what you’re going to say or write to get what you want take a time out. Of course we want to be thoughtful about what we say to folks and how to express our needs but often people are doing this:
Maybe you could stop and see how you could express yourself from a place that recognizes your needs and the other persons needs are equally important.
3. Do not make any major decisions when activated. This one is really important. I often talk to people who make relational and work related decisions when they are freaking out. Feeling angry, abandoned, sad, or coming from that fight/flight feeling. It makes sense because we think if I take action right now then this feeling will stop. But most of the time making decisions or trying to resolve things when there is high energy or emotions only leads to more trouble and confusion. Do yourself a favor and slow it down, talk to a trusted friend, go for a walk, journal, and resource yourself before you involve yourself with resolving relational conflict if at all possible. You will probably make decisions that add to yourself esteem rather than detract from it.
Add these to your toolbox and see if they work for you. You might realize that a lot of the time these decisions become clear and less stressful with some added spaciousness.
 Sorry to all parents out there, this is a tough one. Most parents I know are eternally tired, but maybe try to not be tired AND hungry? Eat something!
Karolina Walsh Psychotherapy
Providing psychotherapy, counseling, and support for grief, addictions, trauma, PTSD, relationship issues, and GLBTQIA.
“Karolina walks her talk, her ability to meet another in their capacities is sensational because she has done her own work” -Diane Israel
"An effective therapist needs to do at least two things: be compassionate and provide constructive feedback that actually changes the way people experience the world. I see many therapists who can do one or the other. I routinely watch Karolina do both..." -Patrick Weeg