You have the choice

There are some con­ver­sa­tions where you real­ize a lot about your­self, how and why you act the way you do. I remem­ber a par­tic­u­lar one with a friend of mine, as we were dis­cussing our shared pro­fes­sion­al past. I remem­ber talk­ing about how unhap­py I was and how I felt I was slow­ly dying for such a long time, express­ing some bit­ter­ness over the job. That’s when she told me ”but you had the choice, you could have left”. That par­tic­u­lar sen­tence real­ly hit me hard.

It hit me hard because she was right, I could have. In fact, look­ing back now, every­thing at this time was already in my hands, but instead of act­ing on it, and chang­ing my life, I decid­ed to stick in a job that was slow­ly killing me. I stayed because of mul­ti­ple fac­tors, the main one being fear. I was ter­ri­bly afraid to find myself los­ing my flat, end­ing up on the streets, … (dra­ma much ? I must admit). So afraid in fact that I was ready to go all the way straight to the burn out just because I was too afraid to make a deci­sion I knew was the right one but where I couldn’t pre­dict a 100% suc­cess rate.

The prob­lem is that noth­ing in life has a 100% suc­cess rate, we can nev­er be assured that every­thing will go well. Things can go wrong, but they can also go pret­ty right, we can’t pre­dict them. Most of the time we get over it, being able to make deci­sions, go on with our lives, but some­times, for big deci­sions, we tend to post­pone, wait­ing for this 100% rate solu­tion, this per­fect answer. And even if we’re unhap­py in our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, at least we know it, we own it (or rather, it owns us). So we stick to things we don’t like, in jobs that are some­times deplet­ing us from exact­ly who we are, because tak­ing the chance to make a change is frightening.

Sometimes those choic­es end up being bad. As I said, we can nev­er know. The only thing we can do is to avoid to end up in a state of learned help­less­ness and not to let those fail­ures own us. Because even if some­thing fails we can learn from it. And if some­thing suc­ceed, we’re gain­ing a bit more con­fi­dence, a bit more self-trust, and we final­ly escape sit­u­a­tions that destroy us. Do not let fear take the best of you, take the leap, trust in your guts because that’s what life is made of. Keep learn­ing, keep grow­ing, keep choos­ing.


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Simon Vandereecken

Freelance UX Designer living in Brussels (Belgium), with a deep interest into philosophy, personal growth, self improvement, books, music, ... well in many things ! I use this website to write thoughts going through my head as well as ideas, observations and reading notes. Feel free to get in touch ;)