Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tough Decisions

I attempt to base all of my decisions—even the seemingly mundane ones—on whether or not I'm being authentic to myself and my vision. Pursuing authenticity isn't easy, though. I get exhausted with it. There are moments when it seems too hard and complicated to be so intentional. There are even times when I wonder, "Just this once it will not be that big of a deal. It will not make that much of an impact if I falter today." Once I start bargaining and pleading, I have to remind myself that following ease and short-sighted comfort will only lead me to frustration and disappointment and neither of those are part of my plan.

We all change as a result of growth. Knowing we need to engage in a lifestyle change is not enough, though. For instance, when we decide to eat healthier or start an exercise regiment the change does not end with making that decision. After our minds are made up we must begin the perpetual process of changing our lives to support that decision. Eating that first healthier meal doesn't constitute eating healthy. Going to gym or on that run the first time doesn't make anyone a workout regular or a runner. It is the repeated action that indicates change. Tough decisions aren't tough because we only have to decide once. Tough decisions are so challenging and painstaking because they have to be made continually. Again and again, we have to choose between long-term benefits and short-lived satisfaction. It is the repeated act of choosing that makes the pursuit of authenticity, healthy eating habits, physical fitness, and emotional wellness so difficult and for some seemingly unattainable.

Emotional wellness is evasive for so many. Our emotional health is consistently tested and there are many reasons why we often fail those tests. How many times have we known that a relationship was no longer serving us well yet we did nothing? How long have we known that our lifestyle wasn't producing our best self, but ignored that knowledge? For me, the answers to those questions are "too many times" and "for far too long." What I knew differed greatly from how I behaved. One day I had enough. I was tired of making excuses for actions that did not serve me well or produce my best self. It was time to make a tough decision and stand by that decision daily.

What tough decision(s) are you facing? What have you known you needed to do, but avoided putting into action? I had to stop forcing myself to be in the company or in situations that made me feel less than who I am. Although I was certain that this decision would positively impact every area of my life, there have been occasions when I wanted go back on my promise. Even recently, I wanted to give in, but I have to remind myself that I made a decision to be authentic and my actions must continuously reflect my decision. It isn't always easy. It doesn't always produce immediate positive feelings. Some days you will think it's too hard. However, there is nothing more valuable and no cause more worthy than producing your best, healthiest self.

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