4. The Art of Decision-Making: Contingency Vs Back-up Plans

4. The Art of Decision-Making: Contingency Vs Back-up Plans

We need to stop thinking of our choices as a series of back-up plans. 

A back-up plan is a somewhat fleshed out plan if the first plan doesn't work out. The problem with analysis paralysis is that we play a never-ending game of "what if." It's not as need as a flow-chart, but plan B can have plan B1, plan B2, plan B3... and so can plan C, D, E...

Of course that is overwhelming, you are trying to predict the future and decide which way to go. Often to avoid discomfort or suffering. It makes a decision turn into a terrifying event where each result can lead us to a nightmare. 

This also forces us to predict people's behavior in the worst possible light. For example, you have something difficult to tell a family member, friend or partner. It will be upsetting and will change the dynamic. You may not be ready for that change, but a change is inevitable. In playing out scenarios, we imagine these people reacting in the worst way they can possibly react - often in a way that isn't reasonable for the character of that person. This creates a loop where we brace ourselves for the worst, because we believed that those people would be "the worst."

How does a contingency change this?

A contingency is an overarching value that you are working toward. Where you have to put something into action and the choices you make while in-action will be determined by your values.

Going back to the scenario of having to tell someone something difficult that can change the dynamic. Instead of assuming all the worst possibilities, pay attention to what is in YOUR control. "I want to share this difficult information with them, and I will share is with compassion - knowing that it is difficult. In keeping compassion in mind, I will let the person have their emotional reactions/responses to my information without judging them and decide my relationship with them going forward."

It's not easy, and we don't always have the flexibility that we need due to lack of resources, but we can do our best. At the end of the day, if a Truth that you have to share with someone in your life will cause rejection, then it will cause it whether you say it or not. There's only so much one can hide their Truth.

Choose your discomfort: hiding your truth until you cannot or take the risk of sharing your truth and know the people in your life. There are other options, other choices, and each of them will have an uncomfortable consequence. 

Choose intentionally and not from fear/avoidance. 

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