I recently decided to get a car and found the process to make a decision surprisingly difficult.
At first, I justified my indecision and confusion with the facts that I have never bought one before, and honestly have never been that interested in them beyond their utility.
However, as I take a moment to meditate on the mental turbulence that I experienced during this process, I cannot help but dig beneath the surface to better understand why this decision was so difficult for me.
What I can see more clearly now was that this one decision highlighted a series of deeper decisions that I had to become clear about first.
The first is to get my mind around what this decision will say about me. The reality is that being interested or concerned with what others will think of me is hardwired into my biology. Humans have evolved over millennia to make choices that allow us to stay part of the tribe, for safety and survival, and to believe for a moment that I can erase this programming would be naive.
Next is how this decision will reflect my identity. There is a gap between how I identify today and how I imagine I might identify in the future. I am not certain if this decision is meant to reflect my present identity, or to be used as a bridge of sorts to help me identify differently.
Then comes the question of affordability. At the surface, it appears as an objective lens however it is highly subjective and based on my mindset. A scarcity mindset would be to keep my needs within my means, and try to keep me grounded in my present realities. An abundance mindset would be to assume that my means will grow into my perceived needs. Needs broadly defined of course, encompassing practical and emotional.
The fear of regret also comes up. The mindset trap of believing that my choices are permanent adds a heaviness to the process that paralyzes me. When I remember that everything changes, and that nothing is permanent, I feel lighter and clearer.
Most challenging to navigate are the 12 inches between my head and my heart. There is what I think makes sense, and then what I feel is right. Each of my head and heart will tell me different things. The idea of allowing one to lead over the other is scary.
This reflection is not about how to choose a car. I share my journey with this specific decision to highlight the deeper influences at play with practically any decision. Be it where to live, where to work, how to dress, who to date, what to eat, and more. There is a deeper layer of decisions beneath the surface where my truth lies.
To live in abundance or scarcity?
To lead with my heart or head?
To ground in my present or reach for my future?
To believe in permanence or impermanence?
To reflect who I am or who I intend to become?
Once these decisions are made, all of the other decisions I come across become effortless and easy. These decisions are where the inner transformation begins. And only once I am clear on the inside does the outside begin to align itself with me.