As one client said to me 'If I walk through one door, then I'm shutting the other door. And all I can imagine is feeling regret, and never being able to change it.' When we look at the baby decision from this perspective, it seems an impossible one. What I have noticed that even though have not yet made a decision that will cause them regret, in thinking and worrying about regret, they often seem to recreate the mindset people get into when they experience regret. This article in Psychology Today, 'The Psychology of Regret' describes this 'regret mindset'.
'Regret can have damaging effects on mind and body when it turns into fruitless rumination and self-blame that keeps people from re-engaging with life. This pattern of repetitive, negative, self-focused ruminative thinking is characteristic of depression and may be a cause of this mental health problem as well. Other research, reported in the AARP Newsletter, shows regret can result in chronic stress, negatively affecting hormonal and immune system functioning. Regret impedes the ability to recover from stressful life events by extending their emotional reach for months, years, or lifetimes.'
It's crucial that in order to make the baby decision that you break out of this negative, fear based mindset. There are two very simple steps to help you get into a better mindset to move forward.
1. Interrupt your repetitive and anxious 'what if' thinking . This can be hard because once you are in the grip of anxious thinking in can be hard to pull yourself out of it. As soon as you notice yourself doing this, find a short sentence you can say to stop the thinking. Even 'I'm not paying attention - I'm putting these thoughts in the bin!'. OR change your environment. Go for a walk. You can also use a simple mindfulness technique of simply noticing everything you are feeling and noticing about where you are right now, starting each sentence in your head with the words 'And now I am noticing.... the sounds of the cars, the colour of the sky, etc'
2. Once you've interrupted the thoughts, I invite you to spend some time connecting with TRUST. This is your sense of trust - trust in yourself to make the right decision for the future, trust that things will work out even if you don't know exactly how yet. You can connect with trust by shutting your eyes and imagining that you can go inside yourself and see where trust lives in you - you can imagine what trust looks like or feels like inside of you. You can also discover trust by simply asking yourself the question 'What would it be like if I could have a little bit more trust in my body or my being right not.'
When we have abit more trust in ourselves and in the world, we become less fearful and worried about the future. We are more likely to believe in ourselves, believe that we are resilient and able to deal with life's challenges.