That’s obviously why we always find ourselves consulting with friends and relatives when hard decisions are to be made. Even with smaller decisions too, about where we should holiday, which appliance to buy, what school to send the kids to.
That’s also why we seek specialist advice when contemplating actions outside of our sphere of experience or control. For instance consulting with medical professionals, financial advisers and solicitors on major issues affecting our health, wealth and legal standing. In these cases we’ll sometimes even seek a second opinion to confirm the first…
I know I look for signs that I’m on the right track both before and after a decision is made. For instance, prior to making the decision to leave my position I looked for confirmation and affirmation from a range of sources about my options. I chose to read meaning into some “signs” that helped affirm I was on the right track in my decision to accept my redundancy.
I should also clarify that I sought specialist advice from a financial planner, my superannuation fund and my bank to ensure that we had everything in place to support my decision to proceed – my decision wasn’t all based on intuition alone!
However, it’s strange that after receiving specialist advice, after consulting with family and after “going with my gut,” I’m continuing to look for external affirmation that it was indeed the right choice. Deep down I know it was the right choice but I still crave external validation – even now, nearly two months after my decision was made.
This was brought home to me this week when I returned to my old workplace to celebrate the departure of an ex-colleague who is also taking a redundancy package. Even though my decision to leave is made and is now irreversible, I still unconsciously sought affirmation that it was the right choice. In every interaction I had, I wanted and needed to know that I was indeed better off for the decision I had made.
I talked to my friends and colleagues and gauged their views on the workplace. I saw my old workstation, still as I left it nearly four weeks ago. I heard snippets of conversation, reminding me of the world to which I used to intrinsically belong.
I saw it all as an outsider, suddenly feeling slightly awkward in a environment where I no longer quite belonged.
In some ways it was a relief to walk out the door again, take a deep breath and just be. In that moment I received all the affirmation that I ever needed.
I have indeed made the right decision.
I had no qualms walking out the door again. My brief visit did not make me long to fall headlong back into my old world. I am content now to be a memory, a once was, a past employee.
Personally, that’s all the affirmation that I need right now.
Do you look for affirmation once a decision is made? How do you go about it? And do you have any regrets about choices you have made?