The Method I Use To Make Difficult Life Decisions

The other day, I stumbled upon this quote by Nelson Mandela:

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

And it really struck me. I found myself reflecting on various outcomes in moments I made choices based on fears and beliefs of scarcity, feeling inadequate or terrified of potential results of my decision. The patterns that surfaced in this reflection struck me with the same potency of Mandela’s quote; each time I made choices out of fear instead of from my hopes, bliss and joy, the end result was never satisfying. All I found was regret.

Many of us have been torn between the place of making a choice of love or fear.

Ever find yourself with a burning desire to stand up against an injustice you heard, but remained silent out of fear of criticism or rejection just to sink in the frustration and regret of not speaking up?

Have you stayed in a relationship with someone who didn’t appreciate you and drained you of precious energy because you feared being alone? Are you still working a job that you dread going to and is not aligned with your purpose because you don’t believe other opportunities will be made available to you?

Fear based decisions are made from the seeds of our insecurities and more often than not blossom into regret. They often come from that nagging voice in our head screaming, “I better do this or else!”

Think back to the last big decision you had to make in your life. Did you find yourself giving away your power to someone else, whether that be your parents, boss, partner…? Chances are it was a choice birthed from fear.

Hope based decisions are rooted in trust and faith in the workings of the universe. Even if things do not fruit in the ways you desire, each time you make a choice out of love and plentitude and not lacking... You open the door of abundance.

Open yourself to the abundance of life.

With each risk you take to choose from hope, your belief in your abilities, competence and capability of manifesting your dream life grows. You can feel it in your whole body; the ease and joy that washes over you by saying “yes” and running towards what your heart song is calling for.

You playing small does not serve anyone.

Give yourself permission to fulfill your greatest and biggest dreams. Choose to dissolve fear. You will never know the excitement of the net catching you until you leap. It will take courage and bravery, but know you are capable of jumping with both feet.

If you’ve been following my adventure on the Appalachian Trail, then you know I recently was met with a big decision to make. I found myself standing at a fork on the road…

Path #1 leading me towards honoring my desires, reclaiming my former happiness and embracing vibrancy by making lifestyle choices available to myself that I KNOW serves me best.

Path #2 leading me towards pushing through physical and emotional challenges to make claim to the ambitious finish line I once aspired to.

I began asking myself, “Do you say goodbye to the trail to pursue your other dreams and better meet your needs (hope/love) or do you continue out of fear of others’ judgments and criticisms if you decide to let it go? (fear)”

I wrestled with which way to go, tossing between which direction was best for me, when I remembered words of advice I once received...

Always make growth decisions, not fear decisions.

And in this moment, as my fears and doubts dissolved, my path was illuminated with a brilliant clarity. I was ready to let go of this adventure.


  • Anna Kuykendall

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this blog! I really loved it!

  • Bri

    Thank you for this beautiful article, Alyse! I applaud your decision to follow your bliss off the trail instead of pushing yourself on when it didn’t fulfill you anymore. It is so important to do this for ourselves and to be an example to others, giving each other support to honor our inner happiness rather than strive for an external goal that isn’t (or isn’t any longer) moving to the soul. In my life I’ve had many instances of facing fear- vs. growth/loved-based decisions, but one example stands out as I read your words…

    Back in college, I was studying for a minor degree in French, and planned to go abroad to Paris for one semester. That plan fell through, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I was very stressed out and rather overwhelmed in my life at the time, and taking on an overseas adventure, although seemingly wonderful and epic, just felt like more than I was in a place to handle. My heart song was calling me to more relaxation, more ease and peace, instead. So I stayed, and also decided to quit my minor degree, at only a few classes short. Trying to learn French without the full immersive experience just wasn’t fun to me anymore. It was adding unnecessarily to my already full plate.

    In this experience I remembered my own power to call the shots in my life. Learning French was a goal I chose to pursue, and I could choose stop pursuing it too; if I wasn’t enjoying it then it was perfectly ok to let it go. I packed that dream up and tucked it away, and let myself take a breather. And I can tell you I felt incredible relief doing so. Rather than force myself to continue on with the goal that wasn’t serving me, I honored my own wellbeing, freed up time and energy for other pursuits, and new dreams… with the trust that I could one day get back to the old dream, if and when it could again bring me joy. <3

  • Hannah Nixon

    This is an amazing first blog post. This is exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. I will choose to make decisions for my growth as a person, not out of fear, and I will not give my power away to anyone else.
    Thank you, Alyse! You are such a positive inspiration to me.

  • M

    This blog post came the right time. Thank you Alyse, I now feel more and more focused on what decision to make.

  • Lissie D.S

    This post is really helpful and I will bear this in mind when making important decisions in the future! I really look up to your strength and willpower and you are such an inspiring person! Sending love and positive vibes! Lissie xx

  • Elanda

    Inspired me to write this morning. I appreciate the universe blessing you to bless me this morning. I’m already of fan. Thank you.

  • Sophie Großjohann

    Hi, I want to thank you for this brilliant text! I mean I really recognized that the decisions I made were made out of fear and I think that this is the reason why it never worked out for me. I`ll try to change my way of deciding and I hope that it`ll work out for me as well <3 (Sry for my bad english, I`m from germany ^^)

  • Giulka

    I love this! Thanks for sharing, I always feel the same conflict when I make big decisions, this is going to help me base them on hope rather than fear. Thanks for being so inspiring! xx

  • Marie-Perle

    Thank you for this post. I really needed it! ?

  • PlantPoweredBlondie

    Yayy, you’re blogging now! Just another way for me to follow your journey that much more! You are such and inspiration and I love the positivity you bring to the world. Great job on your post, I have been following what makes me happy as well! Can’t wait for more :)

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