As many of my friends know, small decisions confound me. I stress and strain, fret and flipflop until finally making my final choice - which will inevitably be changed to my final final choice... and so on. The worst part is that the more inconsequential the decision, the harder I find it to make a choice. If the decision concerns buying a car or investing in a house - the facts are clear and a decision is fairly easy; however, what I should have for dinner is agonizing and painful.
One of my latest inner decision battles led me to think about roles, traits and personas. Why do I have a hard time making decisions? Is it just a trait that I need to live with or is it a persona that I am currently acting out? I know it sounds ridiculous... of course it's a trait - but is it? Really? Perhaps I've just told myself so many times that I'm bad at making decisions, that now I'm bad at making decisions. Perhaps the person I currently am is just who I happen to be currently.
The reason I wonder, is that I can think of a few distinctive personalities that I have been throughout my life. There are clear, definite personality shifts that completely changed who I was and am. From a bright, forward looking, positive kid - to an introspective, depressive and unsure adolescent and young adult - to a driven, over confident, student and worker - to finally a seemingly more aware and humbled father - my life continues to evolve. To me, though, it's interesting that I can distinguish almost precise moments when the shift occurred from one persona to the next.
I think the hardest role to escape from was my high school persona. It became so entrenched that it was extremely difficult for me to recognize it. It took a fairly dramatic few years for me to finally recognize how far I had gone from who I really was - or who I wanted to be. I had become a person I hardly recognized. It took me a long time to shed that person and to get back to who I originally was. I still am shedding that skin.
I wonder how many of us get stuck in our high school roles and never return. Thank god my high school role is gone - it really wasn't me. Really.
Most of these personality changes have been subconscious - but others have been 'works in progress' or things I've consciously decided to work on. For the most part I feel like I've made some progress - I think I am a better, more authentic person than I was say 15 years ago - or even 3 years ago. Having said that, this year my goals don't specifically include 'decision making' - as usual, I'm having an issue deciding whether I should include it or not.