By: Kelly Bradley, Guest Blogger
I make decisions every day; some are routine and often unnoticeable. Others are not so small. Other decisions have changed my life entirely.
There have been distinct moments in my life when I found myself at a crossroad. Those crossroads have been moments of professional decisions. They have been both the beginning and end of relationships. They have been moments of complete confusion and moments of clarity. Faced with a choice of one path or another, it is not always as simple as the “right” or “wrong” path. I have made plenty of decisions that I thought were right at the time, but did not turn out as I expected. And other choices have turned out far better than I ever expected. The reality is, when faced with a choice, it is nearly impossible to anticipate the way life is going to play out.
When things in life worked out the way I hoped or planned, it was easy to reflect and feel the decisions that got me there were “meant to be.” It is when things did not work out that I questioned myself, regretting the decisions and time wasted following a path that turned out feeling like a mistake. I have regretted decisions that left me feeling ashamed. I have questioned holding onto relationships I thought would change if I waited long enough. And I have struggled with all the things I should have said, the burden of “what ifs” when things did not work out as I had hoped.
I often ask myself where would I be had I not made certain decisions (good or bad). If I could go back in time, would I have made a different choice?
While trying to find peace in choices I cannot take back, I have realized those struggles or misjudgments have shaped me just as profoundly as my proudest achievements. The “wrong” decisions became lessons learned, moments of opportunity to look within myself and question the direction in which my life was headed. I may regret not speaking up for myself in the past, but now I have learned to find my voice. I can look back on failed relationships with clarity knowing they were not meant to last, but to teach me that I should never settle for less than I deserve. Whether it is decisions I have made regarding my career, friendships, life, or love, the key is to not burden myself with “what could have been.” It is more important to find resolution in knowing they were either the right decisions (for me), or ones that I needed to learn from and correct.
Although some paths seem more impossible to navigate than others, I cannot help but believe those difficult experiences are necessary and part of life. When things work out as planned that is amazing and deserving. However, it is the lessons I have learned by making mistakes, or the “wrong” decisions, that have truly taught me about the kind of woman I want to be. And to me, that makes it all worth it.
Let’s Chat!: Having to make tough choices is part of life. Are there decisions you’ve made that turned out better than you expected? What have you learned by making a mistake? How have these decisions shaped the person you’ve become?
Kelly is a Midwestern girl, a daughter, sister, and friend. She earned her Bachelor’s degree (and currently works) in Fashion Merchandising, but has always had a passion for writing. Kelly also loves photography, music, and (of course) fashion. Kelly hopes to inspire young girls and women to discover and embrace what makes them truly extraordinary. Tweet her @KelBee6
image via www.spring.org.uk