Decision Making

Decision Making Is a One Way Street

I’ll never forget the night I drove across the George Washington Bridge by accident.

It was 2010, and I’d just dropped some friends off at a train station in New Jersey. In a moment of distraction, I missed my turn on the unfamiliar, dark streets.

That’s how I found myself on a one-way road heading straight toward the bridge and into New York City.

Decision Making

There was no changing course or correcting the mistake. If I wanted to get home to New Jersey, I’d need to pay the $8.00 toll, cross the bridge, then get back on course.

Now, this was certainly a first-world problem. I had gas in the tank and my parents’ EZ Pass to boot. (Plus, that same toll is now $15.00, making $8.00 seem like a bargain.)

Yet I remember the strong resistance I felt to paying that toll, the “Are you KIDDING me?!” exclaimed out loud.

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Why Do I Feel Bad When I Spend Money On Myself?

I used to have so much trouble spending money “just for me.”

In college, I worked three jobs, volunteered, and tithed hundreds of dollars to my church … and I couldn’t pull the trigger on a $15 gift for myself.

Before I graduated from Vassar, I wanted to buy a coffee mug from my favorite cafe … but I couldn’t do it. Spending money on that “selfish” purchase was too anxiety-producing.

Why do I feel bad when I spend money on myself? I wondered. 

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The Price We Pay for Delaying Decisions

What do you do when you’re not sure about a decision?

If you’re like me, you debate it endlessly in your own mind. You go over the pros and cons. You try very hard to figure out what the best choice might be.

But all of this striving is exhausting. And often, we expend so much effort trying to make the “perfect” decision that we don’t make a choice at all. 

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