Can you trust yourself to make the right decision?

The freedom to choose comes with consequences we may not have control over

January 27, 2020 04:12 pm | Updated 04:12 pm IST

Shot of an attractive young woman supporting copy space with her hands

Shot of an attractive young woman supporting copy space with her hands

I often experience anxiety, and try what I may, it is sometimes difficult to shake it off.

While I grappled with my difficulty to combat the anxiety that wells up in me, I became aware of its cause when helping a friend work through his anxiety.

I recognised that his anxiety arose because of the choice he had to make. When the choice, I seemed to comprehend, was an ‘either/or’, conflict erupted within him.

The fear, which accompanied the anxiety, was a sense of not being able to trust oneself to take the ‘right decision’. A desire for certainty, the confusion that follows the desire to cling to all choices that present themselves, was ‘like standing on the edge of a precipice’.

Is there an antidote to counter such an occurrence?

The answer appeared a few days later, when reading an article on the 19th-century existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard, who said very aptly, “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom”.

I understand these words as communicating to us that we are endowed with the freedom to choose as human beings. But with the freedom to choose also come consequences that we may not have control over. The fear that the consequences may not be what we want or desire causes many of us to dither.

Yet, if we are willing to accept that we only have the freedom to make choices and must accept what comes with it, we will feel less troubled. Thus, I think the possible solution to battle anxiety is to make a responsible and informed choice, both of which will help, in some measure, to quell the anxiety in us.

The writer is an organisational and behavioural consultant. He can be contacted at

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