Not all of our decisions or circumstances are going to add up to the life we seek. Obstacles can either paralyze our efforts or become our greatest lessons and allies as we stretch ourselves to adapt or change course.
With the most difficult challenges, there is a definite crossroads. One that we might linger at for days, weeks, or even years. Where we decide whether to meet the pain head-on and become more patient, selfless, and pliable or to walk away; to take a different road and let go of the time and energy we had invested, set new terms, and claim a new beginning.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to see around the bends in either road we could take. There is no predicting which choice will lead us closer to our goals. Three questions can help create the clarity needed to make a confident decision and leave the crossroads in your past, for better or worse.
- Become a stranger. If you were to approach this decision without all of the baggage of your past, all of the regret and hope, and look solely at the two choices you have now, considering only what is possible going forward, which road would you choose?
- What is the worst possible realistic outcome of each choice? If you stick with your current route and adapt, assuming that the problem will not become any easier, what will you likely give up? If you change directions, what will you actually lose in exchange for what you will confidently gain?
- Channeling love for yourself, completely unburdened by any regrets, self-doubt, or anger, what would you choose for yourself? Considering each other person whose life will be changed by your decision, ask the same question.
Some of your answers will be in conflict. Perhaps you would honestly choose a different road for a loved one than you would choose for yourself, which could reveal your answer. Perhaps both roads could create incredible opportunities and growth and you simply need to make a choice, knowing that opportunities for change are ever present.
Ultimately, we can’t linger at the crossroads forever, numb with indecision. If you can’t come to a clear decision, commit to the road you are on and play full out. You will either discover that you do need a new road, which is always available, or you will look back at the crossroads thankful that you stuck through the bumpy part. Regardless of what you discover around the bend, you will have stretched yourself to become a better, wiser you.