The Footnotes

THE STUDENT LIFE

The guide to making decisions

The one piece of advice you wish you learnt years ago.

I remember suggesting to a friend (who was studying at university, hating her course) that a good litmus test for figuring out what you want is to imagine what leap a friend could take that would make you sick with envy and remorse that you hadn’t done it too.

And then, one day, my little hypothetical became real. It came in the form of a text message: “I’m quitting! I’m moving to New York! I’m doing it!”

I’ll never forget that moment. I sat, I stared, I examined my manicure eight times and responded with 14 exclamation points and my sincere congratulations and then let the flood gates open to what I was really feeling, jealousy.

i-quit-my-job

We all know the horrible feeling when something is stirring inside that is making you feel unsettled. A break up, a boyfriend, a job, a degree, a move – you wonder should you do it? What if you fail? Is it a good choice? Then one day, someone close to you makes a very similar choice to the one you wanted to make… and you are left feeling heart wrenchingly jealous that you couldn’t do it too.

So here it is… the guide to knowing whether you’re making the right decision. 

First off, you need to clearly state your bottom line.

Otherwise, you cannot expect the choice you make to meet your expectations. It likely won’t.

Stating your bottom line will tell you what is actually halting your decision…

Are you more afraid of falling behind your friends than you are in quitting your job and working in a start up?

Are you more afraid of your ex boyfriend moving on himself, than you are about the break up?

Are you more afraid of what people will say if you change degree for the third time, than you are about actually doing it?

Now that you know why you’re feeling unsettled about the choice… it’s money, it’s losing them, it’s losing security… to make the decision, take that fear out, then you’ll know.

Ask yourself the question out loud and then take the fear of that choice completely out. No worries in the world, fairy tale ending out. Conceptualise what the fears looked like and what they actually are.

Is your biggest fear that you’ll have zero savings in five years if you go back to university, or that if you leave your job to move overseas that when you get back you’ll have fallen behind, or that if you break up with a boyfriend, you’ll realise it was a mistake too late?

To discard the fear, you have to “what if” the opposite.

Say to yourself, “What if I tried and succeeded?”

If that makes you feel better than the flip side, than you are making the right choice.

Want to enrol in a new course?

Want to look for a new job? [Well first, update your resume]

Want to move to NYC?

Want to write your own novel?

Sell your own swimmwear line?

Get on it.

The guide to making decisions
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