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Flip a coin…

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Why do we ask for advice?

During my teens I recall seeing an episode of Frasier in which Niles presents a coin toss as the solution to helping Frasier make his decision…

Niles argues that before the result of the coin toss is revealed, the person attempting to make the choice or decision already knows which outcome they were hoping for.

toss-a-coin

Whilst we could argue not all decisions can be made as simply as this, I do believe that nine times out of ten we already know what we want to do. So why do we ask? Why do we torment ourselves and over think our choices?

I think we do so for reassurance and for comfort. We want to justify how we came to the decision we ultimately know we will make? However we may also want someone to act as devil’s advocate and present the situation from a point of view we had not previously considered. Ultimately though, are we simply just unsure of ourselves? I remember a friend recently fretting over a decision and I snapped “Stop doubting yourself!’ which I think was rooted also in the frustration I sometimes feel at myself for doing precisely this.

I believe the decisions we make are usually true to our nature i.e. a timid person may be more likely to make the more comfortable choice or the choose the safer option. An example would be that I sometimes struggle to ask for help and when my brother asked for advice on a situation in which he was unsure whether he should, I wrongly advised against it. Thankfully he didn’t listen to me as asking for help on that occasion proved to have the most amazing and wonderful results. I learnt a valuable lesson that day, just as I had when I watched the episode of Frasier all those years beforehand.

The challenge lies in taking the road less travelled and stepping out of our comfort zones when it comes to making decisions. Only in doing so will we begin to trust in ourselves.

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