How to deal with a ‘fork in the road’

Decision time


I bet you’ve been in this situation? Perhaps more than you’d like to remember? Whether it was a relationship, a job or school, it must have been difficult to choose. And when you do, you likely wonder what would have happened if you had gone the other way. I’ve faced these a number of times, but there’s been one in which I still regret today. A year ago, I was offered a job teaching English in Spain. It had been a dream of mine, but the school seemed like it was not going to be a good fit. The director of the school even admitted there were discipline issues. I only had a day to decide, and I chose not to take the job, though I regretted it after. I even thought about emailing the school a few hours after the decision to reconsider. Then a voice said to me, “That ship has left the port.” I knew I couldn’t go back, and had to move forward. Worse yet, I had made myself sick worrying about this decision.

These moments can often be the most stressful in our lives. So what do you do when you’re in the shoes of our friend in the picture above. I recommend following these tips:

  • make a list of all of the pros and cons of going in either direction and compare them. You should be able to see which has more pros than cons.
  • seek the advice of people who really understand you, like close friends, family or a partner. Because they know you so well, they may know which choice will be the better one. Here’s a pointer if you can do it, contact one of your favorite high school teachers or college professors for help.
  • Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if it doesn’t work out?” If the choice is taking a new job or going to a new school, find out if there is a way to get out and go back to where you started. Think of it as setting out to sea, but leaving the anchor planted on the bottom.
  • If you have time to make the decision, do the above then leave it for twenty-four hours, then finally make your choice. The decision-making will be easier once you have considered all the options.
  • Finally, make your decision and don’t look back! Once that ship has sailed, it has sailed. It won’t come back to the port no matter how much you try to get it back. Just move on and embrace the path you have chosen.

No matter which path you take, there will be pros and cons to both. That is life, and you must accept it as your destiny. So choose wisely, but don’t stress yourself the way I did.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , ,

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