Actions are tough. How do you know what the right decision is? Is there a right decision? How much should you think before you make a decision? How do you know when to go with your gut? When you're making a decision, should you just commit? Or should you have your doubts so you don't risk making a huge mistake?

I guess an answer to these worries begins with the fact that it's not the big of a deal. Which seems simple but I think is true. Worrying so much about the outcome of any given action is a result of taking yourself too seriously. Sure, there are some really important, life-defining decisions you have to make in your life, those certainly warrant worry and thought – but I think most decisions don't benefit from manic overthinking and fear. Ironically, worrying too much about making a good decision can make your actions worse off. So yeah, maybe it starts with a mindset shift: not taking yourself so seriously. Realizing that whatever happens will happen, and you are okay. Perhaps viewing taking action as more of a playful dance move – a huge decision is a choreographed dance. Just as a dance must be relaxed and calm while dancing, so should our actions – then one will flow one after the other.

I think the main aspect of actions that is under our control is putting yourself in the position to take the action. What I mean is: you place yourself outside before you go on a run, you pretend to fall asleep before you actually fall asleep. You sit at the dining table before you eat. I think that placing yourself in the "position" is the hardest part of taking action. But once you're in the position, usually the action itself takes over – the flow of it takes over. Sleep just happens, eating and running sort of just happen once you've started.

Since I have this fear of taking action sometimes, which results in feeling stuck – scared of a potential negative outcome like looking stupid or failing – maybe the solution is remembering that we are all human. Embracing humanity: looking stupid, failing, forgetting, being scared. An acceptance of ones humanity allows a person to take risks and be okay with failing, which allows for more growth overall. It is a softening of the ego, which tries so hard to protect our "perfect" image.

I'm going to try to take actions, take risks, do what I feel, say what I feel, and be okay with failing in the process and looking stupid. I've noticed when I do this consistently I feel the most confident and happy. So it is time to get back into it.

~pa v an

Mind Straw #13: July Twenty Six 2023