Have you ever had a problem making decisions?
How you ever had a problem with procrastination?
You know that double mindless;
Will I, won’t I?
What will happen if I do?
What will happen if I don’t?
That anxiety that ends up turning our stomachs in fear of what may or may not happen?
What I would like to share with you this evening, is that all anxiety stems from a decision that hasn’t yet been made. Now this decision that hasn’t been made is always going to be concerning something to do with your future.
It’s going to be something you want to do but you have not yet made a fully committed decision or it might be a decision that somebody else is going to making about you. So you are ultimately going to be concerned, will I get what I want or won’t I?
All decisions are based upon decisions that haven’t been made and all decisions that haven’t been made are based upon something that’s going to happen in our future at some point.
So now we are free from the past or are we?
Because the problem is we know we have had a lot of negative decisions made for us or upon us in the past, we have experienced a lot of failures. We know that because we’ve experienced all this in the past, we expect automatically in the future.
Hence the reason this where anxiety comes from.
But what I want to do this evening is not really milk this any more because we have covered this quite a lot. But just simply tell you a story.
Tell you a story about a problem that many of us have with procrastination and decisiveness.
So up in the north of Cornwall there was a little fishing village and in this village is little old lady called Margaret and Margaret had a bird and Margaret’s bird was her absolute pride and joy.
For nine months of the year Margaret would keep bird in a birdcage in the corner of the living room. She would have a blanket over his cage to keep him warm in the winter and all that sort of thing.
But in the tree months during the summer, Margaret thought it was a good time to pick up the bird cage and take it through to the kuchen, put it on the table next to the kitchen window and open the window so her bird could look out. Now Margaret thought she was doing a good turn to her bird Bart.
Well Bart saw things differently because as he looked out the window, he would see all the other birds, flying around, picking worms from the soil and all these kind of things. And he realized that he was a caged bird. He felt this gut wrenching stomach churning, He would love for things to be different, he would love a different result.
So on one of these days Margaret was going shopping, she shut the the front door whilst her bird Bart was on the table next to the kitchen window. Now as she shut the door, this created a gust of wind to blew through the house and the birdcage fell off the table, landing on the floor with the door open. And there was Bart’s chance.
So he hopped off his perch, jumped onto the edge of the bird cage and started looking out and thinking to himself; “Well I won’t die, I shall go.” then “Shall I go or shall I get out over there and then I can go and get myself some worms and may be girlfriend?” But then he thought to himself;
What happens if a bigger bird comes down and attacks me?
What happens in winter if I can’t get food?
What happens if all the other birds you don’t want to be my friend?
What happens if I’m rejected?
What happens if I don’t get the result that I want?
And what about Margaret?
Margaret has been so good to me.
And he kind of started debating in his own head, all the reasons why he shouldn’t go, why he should stay. He started thinking about Margaret, Margaret is so good to me, she is such a good friend. Oh but I could go and get myself a wife and kids and build my own nest. There would be so much fun and I will be free, I would no longer be stuck within the restraints of my cage.
And then in walked Margaret, she had come home from shopping and as she walked through the door, she was filled with absolute shock and horror, when she realized that the door to the birdcage had fallen open and her little bird was just about to go. Margaret runs up to the cage, shuts the door to the birdcage and carries it back through to the living room and places it back down on the table the corner of the room and then places the blanket over the cage and Bart feel asleep.
And the story kind of ends there.
What’s the principle I hear you ask?
Well the principle is this. Margaret’s bird valued security more than freedom. You see he had a chance to get on over there outside, taking risks, taking chances and doing all the things he ultimately wanted to do in life. But it was fear and apprehension that got the better of him. So as a direct result he will spend the rest of his life in that cage, going around in circles wondering what if he had just gone that day.
And you see in life, if we allow ourselves to be ruled by fear, by insecurity, by apprehension, by anxiety, this can come at the cost of us really being able to live a whole load of results that we have the ability to get all of the time.
Well these results can be anything we want to build, any thing we want to achieve. If there’s something you have your eye on and you are not brave enough to pluck up the courage to go and get it or experience it because the worst case scenario is being rejected. And we have already established that rejection is not going to kill you, you are not going to drop down dead because of rejection. Therefore the worst case scenario isn’t going to harm you in anyway shape or form.
So based upon all of this, for what reason would you possibly have for not making the decisions, that you need to make today that concern your life and a degree of progress that you are actually going to be able to make in it?
Make some decisions, make some choices.
Anxiety is just a feeling, fear is just a feeling and these feelings are not true representations of what will actually happen at any given point in the future.
So Margaret’s bird, is this you?