We Can Manage The Anxiety of Decision Making!

anxiety mindfulness ocd


It’s both difficult and courageous to experience and manage anxiety, but I bet you know what I am going to say now.  It’s a beautiful day to do hard things!  We can do hard things.

Anxiety can get in the way of day-to-day life activities and make them more difficult.  The process of making decisions is one of them.  Decision making brings up a lot for us and can be draining.   When making decisions, we might be faced with the anxiety of making a decision that won’t hurt others or anxiety about making the “right” decision.  Additionally, we might experience anxiety that making a certain decision will cause us to miss out on a greater opportunity that may better align with our long-term goals.  All of this constitutes the anxiety of decision making. 

That being said, decision making is the ULTIMATE exposure to uncertainty and tolerating discomfort.  We cannot avoid uncertainty in the process of making a decision, which means that we must acknowledge and face the uncertainty that comes with the process.  You’ll hear this in the episode in greater depth, but I want to give you a teaser.  You’re actually making a decision when you put the decision making aside.  By not making a decision, you’re technically making a decision that you did not even know existed.  

The Anxiety of Decision Making is the focus of this week’s podcast.  We explore things like Hyper-responsibility, Perfectionism, and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), which are all issues that come with decision making that we must master.   Hyper-responsibility involves us thinking that it is our responsibility to not affect other people by making a decision, while perfectionism entails us putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the “right” choice so we do no miss out on a better opportunity. 

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When it comes to decision making, we want to address how to be more mindful and uncertain.  We must embrace uncertainty in our lives and accept that life does not need to be perfect. I understand that this is often easier said than done, which is why I am giving you some key mindfulness tools to help manage these issues surrounding decision making. 

To combat these faulty thoughts, beliefs, and stories that often bring us to a stunted place, we must use our mindfulness tools.  This  involves practicing radical acceptance of the true facts of life.  We cannot be perfect because we are human.  Humans make mistakes and we must make space for imperfection.  We must also make space for the fact that every decision we make comes with a pro and a con.  Even if the decision we make does not feel perfect, we may end up exactly where we should be. 

We must make space for the reality of disappointing others and give ourselves permission to do so.  There is no way that we can fulfill our own needs without disappointing someone else.  It can be difficult and uncomfortable to deal with this, but we must acknowledge and radically accept that this is a part of living.

We hope that you enjoy this week’s podcast episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit and grab onto some key tools that will help you with the process of decision making and manage the anxiety that may come with it.

Also, keep your eyes out for ERP SCHOOL, which is going to be released VERY soon.  We are so excited to share this with you guys!

CBT School is also excited to share that our lovely friend Stuart Ralph is offering The OCD Summit, an online summit specifically for OCD therapists.  The OCD Summit will be a 6-week webinar series where Stuart Ralph, host of The OCD Stories podcast, will interview some incredible scientists and clinicians in the OCD field, with you the therapist as the audience.   Kimberley is honored to be selected to be one of the panelists for this exciting event.  Registration will include 6 topics curated for your continued development as an OCD therapist, where you can ask questions and network with other therapists in the private FB group community.  Click here to join.


About Kimberley Quinlan

Kimberley Quinlan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Panic Disorder and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s).  Kimberley is highly trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with a heavy emphasis on Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for many years.  Kimberley has a special interest in the integration of mindfulness principles with CBT for OCD, Anxiety Disorders, and Eating Disorders.  Kimberley has experience treating adults, adolescents, and children, and tailors each program to suit the age and cognitive development of each client.  Kimberley has a private practice in Calabasas and Westlake Village.