Decide or not

Thoughts to Ponder – June 4, 2015

“If we have to seek approval from others to accept

our own choices, then we already made the wrong choice.”
Window of Wisdom*

A few days ago I wrote about accepting, or not, another’s behavior and fretting about what they are doing. Today I’m going to approach the same topic from a different angle – our own.

We know instinctively what is best for us, so why do we seek another’s advice before taking action? Perhaps it is the way we were raised or our decisions were devalued as adults. Possibly we were told so many times that we couldn’t make a decision if our lives depended upon it, that we came to believe it. How we arrived at this dependent behavior doesn’t matter. What matters is what we choose to do about it.

Do we continue relying on our friends and relatives to advise our decisions, or do we just jump in, make a decision and live with the results? If we jump in it is most likely that our decision will be confirmed in any number of ways.

I must admit that after many years of learning to make my own choices I started to slip back into indecision. A situation arose that had me stuck. I knew what to do, but I feared the feedback. This lack of confidence made me question my ability to decide. My indecision lead me to write a rambling email to a friend asking for advice. Just as I prepared to send the email my computer froze and the email was lost.  Losing that email made me realize that:

– the decision was mine and only mine, and that

– I had no business asking my friend to become involved in my problem.

I wrote my friend another email saying that I had a difficult decision to make and would tell him what I planned when I made it. After sleeping on the problem, I still feared the responses I might receive, but took the necessary action and began to breathe easier. Imagine my surprise when I received emails from several people saying that they approved my choice.

I am grateful for this gentle reminder that I need to make my own decisions.  Practicing small decisions gives me the confidence to make the right choice when the stakes are much larger, as they can be as we age. I find that there are times to rely on my daughters. Other situations don’t require their advice. If I lean on them too much, they may begin to worry that I am losing my capacity to make good decisions.

And, so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, June 4, 2015

* Window 787, by

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at


4 thoughts on “Decide or not

    1. Yes, and we feel stupid for taking their advice. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say. Most comments have been, “Sometimes it’s good to consult others.” True, but we still have to make the final decision for ourselves.

    1. Thank you, Linda. Another reader suggested I add information about the necessity of consulting with others when making a big decision. I agreed and will probably do that in a month or so.

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