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Why Women Suck at Making Decisions

Have you always wondered why women always say it twice?
And with that worried tone??
Because let’s face it, sisters. Women downright suck at making decisions.
“Did I say the right thing?”
“Did I wear the right thing?”
“Should I have done something different?”
It is an insidious and nearly invisible piece of cultural conditioning that has been handed down, generation to generation, paralyzing a woman’s ability to take her place on the world’s stage as utterly and completely and ravishingly herself.
Women are terrified of making mistakes.
We are terrified of doing something wrong.
We don’t want to offend, ruffle feathers, or risk being criticized.
And this is so deeply ingrained, carved and branded inside a woman’s soul, that she can’t even feel the instantaneous way she pulls herself out of whatever equation she was in.

This morning, I was at the barn, riding my horse, Lacey. Well, she is not my real horse. She is a school horse that belongs to the barn where I ride. But I pretend she is mine. I get to the barn early. I groom her. I take her bridle home and clean it. I bring her carrots. I love every cell of her spirited, sort of misbehaving, high-maintenance attitude. Lacey is magnificent in her certainty. There is no in-between. She either loves you, or hates you. And when she hates you, you know it. She tries to buck you off. She won’t listen. She fights every step of the way. And for the most part, she gets her way. More often than not, she has to be replaced with another, less drastically opinionated horse. But, oddly, Lacey is filled with compassion. When someone truly requires her gentleness, she puts out. My daughter Maggie does not really ride. She is a rank frightened beginner. And Lacey treats her as gently as if she was made of glass.

During my lesson, I was practicing jumping her over some cross rails. I would get up to the jump perfectly, and then, dissolve, handing the controls over to Lacey.
My teacher noticed this, and said, “Regena, you have to make the decisions about where and when to jump. You can’t leave it up to her.
“But I am afraid of giving her the wrong signal — because I am not sure exactly when I should have her take off — so I let her decide.”
My teacher said, “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. The worst thing you can do is not be in charge. In fact, make lots of mistakes — you are just learning to feel for the right timing. You have to go over hundreds of fences to get this down.”

And as soon as she gave me permission to make mistakes, I was free. And I found that sweet spot to jump her from — every time I came to a new fence.
What a feeling.
I decided to take the hall pass she gave me, to make lots of mistakes, in every corner of my life, this week. And it has cut my decision-making time a thousand fold.
I pretend I am on my thoroughbred Lacey, jumping a brand new fence, and I say yes to some new direction that I have no idea about — with abandon.
There is real raw fun in opinions.
Strong directions.
Please give me your responses, feedback and comments on this topic, below.
How do you handle decisions about opportunities you have no experience with?
Do you torture yourself with indecision?
Do you run boldly in some unknown direction?
Do you doubt yourself into extinction?
This week, I offer you a hall pass.
Let yourself make dozens of mistakes, proudly. I bet you will find the sweet spot every time. I look forward to responding to all of your comments!

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

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97 Comments / Leave a Comment

94 comments… add one

  • Sandi Firecracker April 3, 2012, 7:33 am

    I so needed this today. Thank you! I am always afraid of making mistakes when I make a decision, or really do anything new. Even with something as simple as ordering my latte. I have no idea what coffee to order, because what if I get the wrong one and then I’ll feel like I would have enjoyed the other one better. It feels so silly to say out loud, but I do it every single time, with just about everything. Allowing myself to just dive into mistakes seems terrifying… I’m in!

  • Shaun April 3, 2012, 7:34 am

    Mama Gena! Thank you, I am so grateful- you would not believe it, I just off my knees regards decisions asking for wisdom, guidance and understanding. Got up opened my email and there was your message… Hit me right in the forehead, Thank you for the Clarity!!

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 2:54 pm

      LOVE that, shaun!! i’m so glad i could be your messenger

  • Michele Schina April 3, 2012, 7:42 am

    Wow! Thanks Regena. I totally believe everything happens at the perfect time. I have learned to be a good decision-maker, I think anyway, in having to navigate through breast cancer over the last 6 months (with a diagnosis that permits 100% recovery); but, lately I have noticed, I still have difficulty having those conversations that are important to me, or responding to others when what they say bothers me, being bold — going for what I want in relationships, for creating and conjuring my romantic partner — I am totally upset by my insecurity here. And, I think I am making some good decisions in my business (valuing my services at what I am worth) and I am now 1 for 3 in new clients over the past few weeks (my price was too high for both of them.) So, I thought, I am standing my ground, and then I thought, was that a wrong way to go? I want new clients and then I become indecisive toward my own actions in these business interactions. Thank you for the hall pass; it actually started yesterday, and I wasn’t even aware!

    I miss you.

    SG Chele

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:01 pm

      glad you’re taking the hall pass, chele! sounds like you’re navigating brilliantly

  • Teri April 3, 2012, 7:58 am

    I’m in on taking the hall pass. Every direction is begging for a decision to be made. I’m goin’ for it!

  • Maggie Genthner April 3, 2012, 8:08 am

    Hey Mama, thanks for that!! I finally made the decision to pursue my dream of becoming a midwife– It has been 10 years in the making. It all started after I read my first book on the subject–Spiritual Midwifery (but what that book connected me to/ allowed me to remember was in my blood) ! I have had soooo many excuses. I couldn’t get focused. I couldn’t make a decision. All sorts of things came up– boyfriends, job opportunities, moves from state-to-state. I told myself I needed to do so many things before I pursued it (have a baby, a partner, more experience in the world, blah, blah, blah). I put it off for 10 years!! Building other people’s empires, businesses, etc. Can you believe it? Kind of lame? Every day I thought about, dreamed about it, longed for it. So I am going for it! This Fall I start and I am calling that world to me– I don’t have a baby or a partner but I threw out those excuses and decided to take a leap of faith that all was going to happen in perfect timing with the divine guiding me. (With that being said I haven’t been totally lame I have pursued other mini passions – going to Bali, learning yoga, teaching yoga but this is the *Big* one in me.) Into the unknown…

    Here we go!

    • Teia April 3, 2012, 11:01 am

      Here we go!

      • BSG Deborah April 3, 2012, 5:15 pm

        Go Goddess!!

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 2:58 pm

      go maggie!! your timing is perfect and elegant

  • wanda April 3, 2012, 8:08 am

    It’s only a decision. When I play with the thought “there are no mistakes,” then I just have to make a decision. If it’s “right,” well whoo-hoo! And if it’s “wrong,” well whoo-hoo!

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 2:59 pm

      “there are no mistakes” – love that, wanda. couldn’t agree more

  • Paula April 3, 2012, 8:14 am

    I needed to hear that too. And not only for making new decisions but letting the old one’s go. We recently made a huge decision to sell off most of our business. Without all the boring details, we are living on less money but don’t have the stress. It has been in the back of my mind ever since we did it, hoping we did the right thing. But Also in the back if my mind is the knowing that I am open for something new. I truly believe that going through this program with Mama Gena is going to not only help me to be more fully who I am but also put me in a position to attract and go after more in my life as a result. I’m ready for my life to get exciting instead of mediocre… Ok, I’m letting it go… Out with the old and in with the new!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • stephanie April 3, 2012, 8:24 am

    thank you for the hall pass! i am riddled with guilt over so many decisions. am i being selfish? is it the right thing to do? would she do the same thing? how does this effect the people around me? i’m so over the guilt and want to jump my own fences with freedom and a long stride!

  • SG Tamea April 3, 2012, 8:36 am

    You ask about decisions and how I make them. Many times I have to have lots of information – I mean lots before its clear where I should stand. Many times I make a quick decision and then once I get a little more information, I change my mind. In the past I felt guilty for changing my mind but NOT anymore. I have that right and it hasn’t failed me. I do let emotions help me on my way. I have learned to trust, trust, trust. Someone told me years ago that if I got it right 51% of the time I was ahead of the pack.

    Thank you Regina for your timely wisdom and thanks for the hall pass!

    SG Tamea

  • SG Karen April 3, 2012, 8:40 am

    Being wishy washy is my middle name. I would often consult other people–looking at their opinion because, of course, their opinion was better than mine– how does this look? what do you think if I cut my hair? should I do this? oh, she thinks this about that–should I think that way, and on and on. But lately I have been consulting my pleasure–what would she like? what kind of underwear would she buy? what gets her bright eyed and bushy tailed? what does she want to say to my children about so and so? And amazingly her voice is loud and clear. She is not afraid to take the plunge. I just need to listen…

  • Janie April 3, 2012, 8:52 am

    Dear Mama Gena,

    Thank you so much for the hall pass on decision-making! That is huge for me. I thought that it was a personal defect. I had no idea that I was sharing it with so many others… I’m trying to run towards things with abandon and not worry if it turns out that I don’t really want to go in that direction. Biggest thing is don’t worry about it – just keep going. It’s all good! I have felt so much lighter and happier since the first weekend of Mastery. I’m getting my child-spirit back and it feels great! Thank you.

  • Kate Goldsborough April 3, 2012, 8:52 am

    Aren’t you a genius to put it in terms of jumping-just for me. Ok. I’ll do it all week thinking of your metaphor. Much love, Kate

  • flora April 3, 2012, 8:59 am

    I needed it too. Thanks.

  • Veronica April 3, 2012, 9:04 am

    Thank you Mama! I am going to incorporate that into my week! <3

  • Lisabeth April 3, 2012, 9:08 am

    THIS IS THE VERY THING I NEED TO HEAR THIS MORNING. It’s time for me to speak out and take action and I’ve been killing myself TRYING TO GET IT EXACTLY RIGHT. I now I realize I just need to stand up and speak what’s in my heart without trying to plan it out perfectly. THANK YOU!

  • Angela April 3, 2012, 9:10 am

    Hi Mama
    I have felt that I am the master mistake maker. Each time I have made a decision on my own, it seems to be the wrong one and I learned to just pull back and be invisible. But just reading this gives me a new attitude!!! What I am hearing here is go ahead and make the mistakes, stand tall, learn and be heard as I am only getting better! Shazammmm!!!!! Thank you for this extraordinary revelation!

    I love you Mama!

    • Janelle Evans April 3, 2012, 12:25 pm

      This is an exciting concept for me, too! Thank you, Mama <3

      It also reminds me of one of your recent Daily Fluffs:

      "When something occurs that is a bit dramatic or negative, acknowledge your genius for creating this exact spot with a BIG YESSSS! And spring into the air!!" – Mama Gena

      I cannot tell you HOW MANY TIMES I have mentally referred back to this Fluff since it landed in my inbox — it is truly working for me to turn a BLAH situation into a ***joyful laugh!***

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:03 pm

      happy to provide it, angela! i’m just reflecting your SHAZAMMMM back at you!

  • SG Tats April 3, 2012, 9:12 am

    I can just feel fresh morning air in your story! It is just what I needed. Normally, I just torture myself with perfectionism, wait till I can get it right! You inspired me to try making mistakes this week, I promise I will make a lot of them.

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:04 pm

      glad to hear it, tats, i’ll be on the lookout for your misadventures :-)

  • SG Turned on Tanja April 3, 2012, 9:12 am

    Hey Regena,
    yesssss!! this was so perfect this morning for me as well, as i spoke my truth to someone, and have spent the 2 hours since then in agony over what the reaction will be, and if it was too much of me to say, and going into …maybe i am too much anyways…..and maybe this is why i do not fit in with most people and going on and on in my head. I will take your permission and apply it to this morning (moving it into my body with a dancebreak after this email) and will try to do just that for a week.
    miss you,

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:05 pm

      i love it when you’re “too much.” miss you too!!

  • Andrea April 3, 2012, 9:25 am

    Thanks for the hall pass. The timing is perfect as I start a day that is full of activities I stepped into without thinking and now feel overwhelmed. I love the riding analogy. I am a rider too and I know that a horse graciously will follow your lead when you know what you are doing and then we both go with confidence. And they are forgiving and let you ask again, if you bobble or mess up. Thanks!

  • BSG Wendy April 3, 2012, 9:35 am

    Thank you so much for this! Between this and your daily fluffs its like you planned the entire week out for me. I was the wishy washy type, getting everyone elses opinions, doubting myself, changing my mind, worrying about all the what if scenarios, trying to please the other and often chickening out…This time I’m using all of the tools and allowing myself to explode like a gigantic fireball knowing that I’ll come out of it transformed! Thank you! Xoxo

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:12 pm

      you absolutely will, my dear little fireball!!

  • SG Krista April 3, 2012, 9:44 am

    Mama! I love it! This year my touchstone word is Fearlessness. So as I come to decisions & I hesitate I remember Fearlessness & if I’m not choosing something because I am afraid then I’ve been reconsidering & feeling the fear & doing it anyway. heck, I can always change my mind! Thanks Mama!

  • SG Yuruani April 3, 2012, 9:46 am

    THANK YOU!!! I am in the process of hiring on a new woman to my company, and I have been doubting my decision every step of the way! Thank you for reminding me that I can make a mistake. Thanks for reminding me that through my mistakes I can learn so much!
    Today during my interviewing I will remember this! :)

  • Liliana April 3, 2012, 9:53 am

    Mama Gena, What an inspiring analogy to learn from – thank you very much for sharing your riding experience and the decision-making point for us women including the cultural heritage of our behavior. How true!! From your story with Lacey it became clear to me that decision making, especially then when another being is involved and who seems to be involved in the decision (when to begin the jump) is intrinsically tied to leadership. When do we DECIDE to take LEADERSHIP ? And while I often think that I am an independent woman – I end up, without knowing, giving up leadership when I am with a man or another person, as soon as I think that the other person is more competent to avoid my making mistakes. Thank you for the encouragements to make mistakes this week!

  • Kathleen Harrison April 3, 2012, 10:06 am

    Hi Mama Gena,

    Thank you for this post. Right now I am in the midst of making a pretty big decision. I’m a senior in college, and I’m trying to decide where I should go to law school next year. I know where my boyfriend would prefer I go, and I know where my parents would prefer I go. What I don’t know is where my desires lie. It’s even harder to get in touch with my desires when I have my boyfriend’s and parents’ opinions weighing on me. Thanks again.

  • Suzi Banks Baum April 3, 2012, 10:13 am

    Hall Passes! My favorite item.
    Thanks for sharing them here.
    I needed to stand in this long line of women, feeling my indecision like too small clothes I continue to put on because I am sure I will fit in to them again. That forced smallness keeps me uncomfortable minute by minute and undermines my excellence.
    So, today, I am writing a Hall Pass for myself about a stupid mistake I made yesterday. Letting that one go. And giving myself a Permission Slip for Self-love and Forgiveness.
    Giving myself a morning of lush self care in honor of that.
    And I am writing a Hall Pass for myself as a leader in my own work. I give myself permission to lead in my Perfect and Elegant timing. I write myself a Permission Slip to stand in my own excellence. There is no mistake here. Just continued practice sessions. Like you and Lacey…coming to the jump again and again, until, the reins in your hands, in my hands, I decide we are leaping.
    I love your posts. I love the world you are creating for yourself and in taking the jumps and telling us your story, we take our own jumps. Never alone.
    xooxxo Thanks Mama! Love, Suzi

  • Katie B April 3, 2012, 10:33 am

    Thank you for this! I have been afraid to follow my “true” calling as a healer and CLAIM IT OUT LOUD! I have been ambivalent about it. Last week I just TOOK A LEAP and offered my training and gifts to someone. It paid off. To all sisters goddesses… TAKE THE LEAP! No one else will do it for you!

  • mila April 3, 2012, 10:33 am

    I have always been proud of myself of being able to make decisions in the office when needed. In the past, lets say when the boss is away and somebody needs to make a decision, I would do it, one two three. Not so much in my personal life: should I or shouldn’t I? Should I go to that event, there are maybe some single men there my age group or not? And then I noticed that when the moment comes to make a decision, I have a very very small “twinge” inside of me, my Intuition is telling me something but it is so tiny, so easy to ignore, not to noticed. Turns out, my intuition was always right!!! I just didn’t go how to listen and recognize it.

    So I have a questions: How to listen to intuition?? How to hear it? Again, my intution is never wrong, but I just can’t hear it???

    SG Mila

  • janai montoya April 3, 2012, 10:47 am

    I broke up with my boyfriend last week. When i make the decision too, i literally ran out of his appartment and told him” I can’t do this anymore!” A week went buy and during that week i felt so free! I caught up on “Me” time, hung out with friends. I had no doubt i made the wrong choice. As Monday rolled around i began to miss him. I emailed him to see if we could still be in one anothers lives, just as friends. When he responded he responded in “a matter of fact” way, “He didnt want to be friends, he wanted to move on” etc. I began to tell him “I hope you not being apart of my life in any way isnt a mistake.” The fear and desparation haunted me this morning as i began to open up Mama’s blog this morning. How could I second guess myelf? I txt my mentor yesturday & told her briefly how i broke up with my boyfriend & told her I hope I made the right decision.She responded ” Oh Jay, you follow your gut instinct,We are always right!” nning out of his appartget the urge to RUN….I wont secondguess it. Especially after

  • SG Laura April 3, 2012, 10:56 am

    Oh Mama, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this hall pass. It is sublimely just what I’ve been needing for quite some time… :) What a genius you are for conjuring the thought and giving it freely to your sisters! YES! Having the permission to fail, to make mistakes, is so huge if we’re going to ever make big giant strides in the direction of our dreams and desires. I’ve been stagnated, constipated, all bound up for way too long– I am so ready to make my move! Mistakes and all!
    Thanks so much gorgeous woman.
    xx SG Laura. NinjaMuse

  • SG Ti, Sugarbitch April 3, 2012, 10:56 am

    “doubt yourself into extinction” – ouch and yes. Like Mila, I can make and do make strong decisions at work, but in my personal life, it’s not nearly so easy. I make the decisions I need to make and then ache over having made them alone, without a partner’s input. I do pretty well and then negate it by doubting I’ll ever have the partnership I so desire. I think the first step in my doubt rehab is noticing how many decisions I make every day and celebrating myself for each and every one. Look at how I pulled an outfit together today! I got my makeup on! I made a nutritious, delicious breakfast in the apartment I picked out and decorated! I chose to wash the dishes to honor the sort of home I desire! I’m already rocking this day, thanks to your reminder.

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:16 pm

      ti, you are a genius to approve of each and every decision

  • Jane April 3, 2012, 11:08 am

    haha! yes! You can’t get it wrong and you’ll never get it done. Just keep on doing and know it’s all good!

  • SG Sofia, Sof~ull of Joy April 3, 2012, 11:20 am

    Thanks for the HALL PASS, I really needed this! I was just feeling that all the decisions I’ve been making of late were all stupid or silly or foolish or selfish or “any other negative word” you can put in . . . this gives me permission to make all those kinds of DECISIONS and know that with the consistency of making decisions I’ll find my “soft spot” and then it will all be GOOD and PLEASURABLE or not and that’s okay, TOO! ~ PERFECT . . .

    so love you, MG, you’ve changed my world and that of my family!!!!!!!

  • Cristina April 3, 2012, 11:33 am

    Wow! This is so, so, so fantastically good and true and so relevant to me, as you know (row, row, row your boat…) I love the hall pass and have already started to write my own this week, taking risks and making potential mistakes left and right! Now I’ll take it even higher and can’t wait to see what happens! Xoxo

  • Erika P. April 3, 2012, 11:40 am

    In life there are no mistakes. There are only choices. If you do something that doesn’t bring you the results you were hoping for. Then, you can always choose again.

  • Gwen April 3, 2012, 11:42 am

    Oh yes I doubt myself alot. So I have found that if a decision seems clear I proceed in that direction. If there are lots of “ifs, ands, or buts” then the one that seems to vibrate the most challenge gets selected….sort of that “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Most of the time this edge is putting me in the right direction and causes me to rise to a higher level of my desires. If the decision is walking me down a dark tunnel and I am not seeing the light…..I change directions…..Always walking in the direction of my highest sense of what is right for me.

  • meherbani April 3, 2012, 11:47 am

    blessed Mama Gena, Lacey and riding coach for taking Mama Gena to the moon and from there taking us with her. u rock… and now those split second timing decisions to land of abandon are ours too.

    from the moon back at you.

  • SGStormy April 3, 2012, 11:48 am

    Oh love, what a muscular metaphor, thank you! As an artist I have always gone with what scares me the most (ie: learning 10 songs in 5 different languages in 4 days to sing with a new band I barely know at the fucking KENNEDY CENTER!!! Ulp…but I was awesome.) My own battlecry on this is “Follow The Yes.” Even if you end up in some shit, you were probably supposed to end up there…NOW I’m learning to follow pleasure, joy, authentic ecstasy….I guess I should change my battlecry to “Follow The FUCK YEAH!” Thank you, Regena!

    • Mama Gena April 4, 2012, 3:21 pm

      thank YOU, stormy. love the new battlecry 😉

  • Michelle Medina April 3, 2012, 11:49 am

    Mmmmmm!!! Love this post!!! Now I know where this has come from all my life!! This week I shall make mistakes and decisions!!

  • Anne April 3, 2012, 11:56 am

    Thank you for exposing ‘this’ weakness that women cleave to. Mine is coated with a lie called ‘loyalty’. When I have struggled to make a dicision, I become too loyal to change it even when it doesn’t work for me any more. I suffer with that loyalty until it really tortures me to make a new decision and the cycle continues. I think its time to learn to make new decisions early enough. Reading from you that your trainer said you should take ‘charge’ has resonated with me and I am going to start taking charge and accept making mistakes, rejection, failure and ultimately, moving on and enjoying life better.

    Thank you Mama Gena; I already feel rejuvinated and I can’t wait to ditch some of those loyalties I’ve been cleaving onto.

  • NectarNataie nLA April 3, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Dearest R’GENA
    I, oh so know, that wishyWashy mode… and have re-framed my ‘right or wrong’ to
    “What’s my ultimate Desire”! Thanks for the reminder!!
    Sweet Blessings,
    SG Natalie

  • Krissy April 3, 2012, 12:32 pm

    I recently made a huge decision which did not really turn out the way I wanted it to and and I was feeling like I made a gigantic mistake in judgement. Most of my friends tried to reassure me that I had done the right thing, or the best that I could. While I knew that they were trying to help and make me feel better, it didn’t really make me feel better because in my heart, I felt like I made a mistake. I also had one friend who basically said, “You should have known better.” After that, I told her I did not need those kind of friends. But the friend who helped me the most just said, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes and you wouldn’t be the great person you are without having made some.” This was one of the most valuable things that was said to me and really helped me move on. It helped me to see that while mistakes aren’t fun, they help lead you in the direction you want to go.

  • Grace Bell April 3, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I love this! I have not only had “trouble” being indecisive, I also noticed in my life that I would actually makes decisions and then become doubtful. Oh dear, what if THIS happens, or THAT happens…the list can be long with troubling possibilities. Wonderful to just come back to the present and sit with being in NOW and feel what it is I want, what would give me pleasure, and do it without imagining a future “mistake” occuring! Woohoo! :)

  • Mali Gesmundo April 3, 2012, 1:12 pm

    First off Mama Gena, thanks for sharing that most elegant lesson with us! I love that you are learning new nuances from riding. I limit myself so much living in the City. Yet, I do know the stables up here on the West Side and other places, Dressage at Chelsea Piers. But jumping and being the decision maker… A former Beau from San Francisco phoned me this morning found myself deferring to him, his word. Of course I want something from him. I will have it or not. And I have a new Faith, right now from reading your Blog. It will go the way I say. I am the Queen of the Capital of Mali for whom I named myself. OK! Life, here I am, lets go this way! Love you!

  • SG RaShelle April 3, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Thank you! Such a perfect reminder this morning! I have been spending my time mentally beating myself up for the decisions I’ve made over the past year (all my life actually-it’s been concentrated over the last year). It’s become an addiction – I’m choosing new behavior – I’m taking the hall pass! I’ve made a new promise to myself to ‘lighten’ up on this self abuse. I’m giving myself room to make mistakes and learn from them… love them! I’ve also made some great decisions- that have not been easy to make. I’m proud of those decisions! I’m grateful I’ve had the insight and ability to make those as well!

  • Dawn April 3, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Mama Gena, Yes, decisions are hard but I never had the trouble I do now that I am five years into menopause. It seems like the older I get, the more I don’t even want to make a decision. Is this normal?

  • Kaz Chandler April 3, 2012, 1:52 pm

    As a teacher of acting and directing for the past 30 years, the cardinal rule for all theatre is “make a choice”. When a student answers “I don’t know” to any character or thematic question, I automatically answer “yes, that’s clear, and we are clueless as to the story you are trying to tell us because you don’t know. Be specific. If that choice doesn’t work out, pick another. The choice police won’t come arrest you but your fellow actors will applaud you for giving them something concrete to work with. ” So easy- and so not easy to apply to real life, especially when raised in the late 1950-60’s. Donna Reed always knew what to do but it was strictly implied that her hubby had made the decisions for her to act upon. Same with June Cleaver and we all saw just how much trouble Lucy got into when she made her own choices. But its a new century and I struggle evryday to practice what i preach as a teacher. And-what a shock- it really works in real life and not just on stage. Art imitating life imitating art.

  • S.G. Denva April 3, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Oh, this is a huge one and today I gave myself the biggest hall pass:

    To make mistakes when it comes to eating. It’s a process, it’s research and for the first time today when I made a “mistake,” I thought it hilarious. I just patted myself on the back, lit a candle, remarked at my genius to be learning myself so thoroughly and stopped the berating.

    Mistakes. They happen.

  • SG Kat April 3, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Wow. Love this story. Thank you for yet another genius article and thanks for the hall pass… I so needed it!

  • Cheryl April 3, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I really thought I had thrown caution to the wind when I packed up my apartment and moved from Buffalo, NY to Sarasota, FL. Whether this decision, made back in September , 2011, was a good choice or not has plagued me. I am decidedly happier here. The weather is amazing. I’m making friends. I’ve found work. It’s not necessarily in my field, but that’s okay. Now my 19 year-old daughter has decided to come down as well (Her original choice was to stay in NY). So I’m in the midst of this never ending journey and loving it. Thanks for the Hall Pass. I can always choose again. Love you!!!

  • SG Dana April 3, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Oh, Mama, do I love you!!! Indecision and second guessing myself are the foremost, primary and frankly, most brutal ways I have of undermining all the gifts our great mother Goddess has given me. My intelligence, my creativity, my tenacity, my boldness, my energy, and even my love for others, hugely undermined by all the second guessing and my fear of making mistakes.

    Recent example… I work with a fabulous team of people at a local financial institution (who will remain unnamed but you know them) in their senior investment advising department. Their company is known for their terrible customer service but this group is the antithesis of their company brethren. I am so grateful to them every day because in my work I care for people in the last years of their lives, sometimes even ensuring they leave this life in the circumstances of their choosing. Everything this group does that makes my job easier means I can take better care of my clients sometimes during the most difficult transitions of their lives.

    Now these folks who are managing the investments and their support teams (read very important job directly connected to peace of mind) probably don’t come to work each day thinking their immediate actions that day could have a direct impact on how I am able to show up at the bedside of a dying client, but frankly, it can and I wanted them to know that and that I appreciate them hugely for that reason. (This greater sense of appreciation for everyone, I directly attribute to Mastery and all the love being expressed in that context every day.) The quality of their service and care actually inspires me in my work. I feel like I have full on partners in a job that is sometimes very difficult and frankly, can have a great deal of liability associated with it.

    So I had an opportunity to share my experience of working with them in an email and to thank them. I expressed it simply, but I spoke of the reach beyond mere investing that their actions had in my ability to do my work and what that could mean in a day, and how much I appreciated them… and then I balked. The second guessing kicked in. Basically it went something like “Don’t make it too personal, Dana. Keep it professional and keep that professional distance in there. Remember, you are not just representing yourself, you are representing your partner and the Trust beneficiaries…” and I was literally stopped.

    Upon reflection I could feel my appreciation (and even love) for these people and even life itself contracting as the thoughts continued. Upon reflection I could also see a sense of resentment was rising in me and this sense that I was not living in a world in which I felt at home, but rather that I was having to conform to a world that was being defined by entities with hearts much colder and less loving than mine.

    And with all that in the background, I almost deleted it. But then I stopped. Because since being in Mastery, when I start to feel any unhappy feelings, anything other than happy Goddess Pussy (yes, I said the “P” word!) feelings, I stop. Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch it, but when I do, I always stop. And then I ask her. Wat does she want, soft, glorious loving creature full of play, happiness, and all that is good about being alive? What reality does she want me to push forth around us in the world? And it hit me… My job here, part of a Goddess’s job, is to leave a world awash in love, appreciation and play in her wake. I want the words “She created play and love all around her.” on my tombstone and NOT “She was always appropriate in professional settings.” And, I thought of SG Storm, and how on one of the calls, when I was having a little bit of trouble getting my energy connected to the call, one of her outrageous (by my definition) comments was what jolted me energetically, brought a huge smile to my face (spontaneously, not something I could have stopped if I had wanted to) and in that moment, reminded me who I really was and that perhaps the world could take a little more outrageousness and out-there-ness (thank you Storm!!) and still not fall apart.

    So, I copied their boss in the email and hit the send button. I decided that if this institution can’t handle a little heartfelt appreciation, then their world was not the right place for this Goddess. But somehow I had the feeling it would all be okay. Postscript: I received back emails that were very appreciative of the recognition and I had the sense that creating a forum were they could respond that way took them higher too.

    Awash… I like that word. Awash in love and play instead of self doubt and fear. I have the feeling we Goddesses are all about water so awash in play… Hey, aren’t we going to Miami!!! Well, that certainly creates a circle. And in case I didn’t mention it, thank you Mama, thank you so much for your bold outrageousness. Sometimes I am literally swept off my feet by it and find myself slooshing more than awash but that is simply because I haven’t learned to swim like a Goddess mermaid yet, but I am clearly in the water and no longer on the beach. XXOO, SG Dana

    • BSG Deborah April 3, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Wow! SG Dana,
      What a fantastic share. I love your skill at articulating the expansion and contraction of your innermost self. And I totally resonant to the image of our being in the water and playing there. Thank you sooo much!!!

      In Goddess connection,

      • SG Dana April 4, 2012, 4:25 am

        XOXO, thank you for appreciating it. XXOO!

  • T. L. Cooper April 3, 2012, 3:20 pm

    I grimaced as I read this. I didn’t think I feared making a decision, but I’ve been trying to make a life-changing decision for 6-months now. Six months ago the decision seemed clear, but as the details came into focus I began to doubt my decision. I began to feel guilty. I began to think I’d acted hastily. I began to see other possibilities I hadn’t tried. A few things in the initial planning didn’t go well, so I began to wonder if it was a sign I’d made the wrong decision. Nothing has really changed since the initial decision other than that no action has been taken. Now my energy, focus, and determination have begun to dissipate.

  • SG Alanna April 3, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Mama Gena,

    I used to horseback ride and I know the exact moment you are talking about. Thank you for beautifully comparing the moment of when to get into two-point and give the horse the signal to take off to making life decisions. The permission to make mistakes is so freeing!

    SG Alanna

  • LiZa April 3, 2012, 4:32 pm

    I am a great decision maker when it isn’t personal. I am a take charge person in organizations and many times others come to me for “what to do” and we are equals. When it comes to my personal choices I have begun to get better. You see, I can make a decision OK it’s in the taking back my power by wondering if it was the right choice that I still catch myself with. I don’t ride horses, some fear involved, however your visual has me feeling like I could. I see myself gliding over the jump with grace and ease. I can practice this in mind and fly onward.

    I once learned and believe that the way to do whatever we decide to do is contained in the decision. We get so involved in the “how to” that we don’t need to know. All we have to do is decide and the way will be shown. Thanks Mama for the reminder to stand firm in my convictions.

  • BSG Liz April 3, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Hiya Mama you horse-jumping queen,
    Thanks for the post. It rocks. I’ve had a few tricks and methods presented to me recently that have been REALLY helpful and have actually led me to make a major major life change in the past few weeks. And you know what? I feel great! I walked away from a fantastic job and a huge salary because I have the audacity to want something better. And I don’t know what it is yet. Eeeeeeeeee. and also Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    So here’s what’s been really helpful:
    Ask yourself–what’s the worst that can happen? I mean, really the worst. What I realized is that the actual worst that can happen from this decision pales in comparison to the amazing self-punishment my darling brain is capable of imagining.

    Another great tool–what would the you of today say to the you of 10 years ago? Really go there with this one. Make a quiet, comfortable, beautiful space for yourself. Imagine how generous and complimentary you would be to a dear friend or child who had grown and evolved as much in their past 10 years as you have in yours. You’ll be amazed at the things you have/know/do/feel today that you would not have believed possible 10 years ago. many of the steps that made those things possible seemed crazy, risky, and “stupid” back then. And yet, they got to where you are now.

    Always, always remind yourself that what you are doing/feeling/experiencing in the moment IS PEFECT, RIGHT and DIVINELY INSPIRED. It may not look that way now, but it is, and at some point in the future you’ll see what learned or gained from this moment.


  • katspratt April 3, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Many thanks to Mama Gena! I have tended to ruminate over a situation or a decision afraid of being wrong. Thank you for the ‘hall pass’. We never got those back in Catholic grammar school-everyone did everything together as an entity. Individuality was not quite encouraged. You are fabulous and thanks to your School of Womanly Arts so am I!

  • Jess April 3, 2012, 6:18 pm

    Wow Mama Gena – this has hit the spot for me! I was only journalling yesterday about how I need to release the need to always know the “rules” before I start something…aka I want to know I’m doing it right, just like you with Lacey. Goosebumps! And I just love how you’ve said that once you knew you had the freedom to make mistakes, you were off & running. I think I might just join you!

  • SG Vulvanica April 3, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Dearest Mama, I loved this blog! I love my hall pass. I want to put that shiny transparent stuff on it… what’s it called…? Laminate! I want to laminate it. Damn, I love life as a grad of the SWA & Inner Circle.

    I used to be a MASTER of indecision & finding myself wrong (& self hatred, of course!) — never allowing myself to make mistakes.

    Now, after graduating IC & putting myself so fucking “out there,” naked with my life for all to see, that there is NOTHING scary after that! I bared my soul to the SG world, & they loved me for it. I also found so much love in you & Dav & my sisters.

    I can now make decisions pretty fucking awesomely, because I dare to make mistakes, run in the direction of my freak out, & find myself right. Right for trying. Right for being scared. Right for just being me, & being a goofy cutie.

    Thank you Reg, for all your help in this. This blog is marvelous. You are amazing. Women’s cellular fibers & viscera are changing because of your life. I can’t wait to go back & visit :-)

    I love you! Vulvanica

  • Lola April 4, 2012, 6:47 am

    I am becoming gentle on myself when making a mistake. “‘Oops,’ ‘excuse me,’ and ‘well ”’ are words I use when I make a mistake. I am not going to shame myself for making a mistake, especially when the intention is not to make a mistake but rather to experience making a decision.

  • Barbara April 4, 2012, 8:52 am

    I thought I was the only one! AND I thought there was something secretly wrong with me, because of it. What an excellent topic you chose, Mama! Actually, I toture myself with indecision and THEN run boldly in some unknown direction.


    Can’t tell you what it means to learn this is something conditioned into us ~ and not some weird character deficit particular to me.


  • Rhonda Lane April 4, 2012, 9:30 am

    Thank you, Mama Gena. I love this. “What will people think?” “What will my family/friends/co-workers think?” We run options like battlefield computers before we decide on any course of action. And we suck the joy right out of it whatever decision we make.

    On another note, get a load of this – I sent a link to this post to my Facebook and Twitter followers. One of my friends tried to download this post on her computer at work during a break and just about set off warning klaxons. Maybe it was the “suck” in the title, maybe it was “womanly arts” (cuz you KNOW that’s all about s-e-x). She was half-joking about getting “a visit” from her job’s IT department.

    Just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean They AREN’T out to get us. =:-D 😉

    Anyway, thank you for the post.

  • Katrina Kelly April 4, 2012, 9:19 pm

    This is inspiring. I read a similar article last night that was also inspiring. I believe these are signs! It’s great to take risks, to put yourself out there. You will never know if you don’t, but usually you end up way better and feeling better and wonderful things happen! If they don’t the first time around, then it will happen in the next tries, becuase it can only get better, and that’s a risk worth taking. We all make mistakes and usually mistakes happen when we don’t realize it, and that’s our choice how to handle those mistakes. But to avoid making mistakes by not taking a risk?! no no…ladies. I’m learning this more and more now. I have a long story, but I’ve been battling my clutter for months now. It’s pretty tiring, but I see the light, and now I just have to make that last 10%! And this last part is meaning I’m going to have to take risks and defeat this clutter so I can open my life to new things! ~LOVE~

  • Martine April 6, 2012, 3:25 am

    Thank you thank you! Also the people who sent the responses, very helpful. Especially someone who wrote about letting her pleasure talk.
    Yesterday I received an e-mail from a woman who wasn’t happy about something. I sent 3 re-ply’s, nice nicer nicest… Just to make sure she would’t be angry with me. (She wasn’t, but just in case…)

    And tonight I’m going to sing in church and I’m very nervous already. What if I make a mistake? Bad girl, bad singer. Yeah right.
    I’m going to let my pleasure talk and sing!


  • Jean April 6, 2012, 7:24 am

    I always loved Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote: “do one thing every day that scares you,” but was afraid of the repercussions of my daring efforts. Now, thanks to your insight, I’m not, because I can make mistakes. What a revelation. Thank you!!!!

  • Robyn April 6, 2012, 10:08 am

    Thank you so much…what a timely gift to read this today. Lack of sleep worrying about things lately has resulted in very poor judgement on my part and bad decisions. I am having a heck of a time letting go of the worry from the potential outcome of my actions. I just need to relax and own the fact that what’s done is done…i will survive.

    • Kiki May 1, 2012, 9:26 am

      Right on! Yes, you will survive. That is such a good attitude!

  • Luxurious Laurie April 6, 2012, 12:47 pm

    There are no mistakes…everything happens for the best and teaches you something you need to know. xoxo

    • Luxurious Laurie April 6, 2012, 12:59 pm

      By the way, I miss you much, Regena :)

  • tasha April 6, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Thank you so much!
    It is about me!
    The main problem and most debilitating one!
    I already almost destroyed my life& my daughter’s too by living in constant fear of wrong decision making….

  • Regina, Queen of the Desert April 8, 2012, 11:30 pm

    I am expanding into my huge, luscious, dripping-with-diamonds-powerful and sexy sportbike motorcycles-new-house-in-the desert-all my-very-own- righteous Goddessly Life. Let me tell you, I give myself an hourly faith transfusion. Taking my giant appetite out on the road alone is the most exhilarating and terrifying thing I’ve ever done! I have always done some version of shrinking, and even that is still pretty wild, loud, and primal!

    Here’s what I chose to do this past week, instead of shrinking: Made a date with my friend Rich to go test ride BMW dual sport motorcycles. Boldly and flirtatiously told my new realtor friend that I WANT THAT HOUSE IN THE DESERT, then proceeded to tell him what MY terms were! Wow! By doing that, I am freeing myself from money-bondage.
    Today I spontaneously decided to show off on my motorcycle in front of the adorable sportbike rider in the next lane! I took a corner waay faster than usual, made a perfect line. Riding is perfect for amping those decision-making skills, gals! On a bike, with 300+ pounds of machinery between your legs, intention is everything.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!

    Oh, yes-I also flounced around in the 90 degree desert afternoon, watering plants naked.
    Then decided to go for a second trail run out in the wild thorny desert I love with all my heart!

    We are so meant to be this luscious!

    Regina, Queen Of The Desert

  • The Mynx April 12, 2012, 2:18 am

    Whew! That’s a lot of comments to respond to! I think it’s time for a dancebreak:

    I love all your blogs ~ my fav frames here were the horse as metaphor for GPS (did I read too much in here? She won’t know where to go if you don’t direct her?) and “There is real raw fun in opinions.” All my favourite peeps are opinionated ~ that’s why I love you!

    xx Mynx

  • Galina April 12, 2012, 7:45 pm

    WOW!! I love this Hall Pass that you have generously gifted us with. I have been stalking a bracelet that I saw in a jewelry store for months now. The price was way out of my budget and I couldn’t justify it any way I looked at the situation. After reading this, I committed to having that bracelet and I found it at less than 1/2 the cost I had been stalking it at. Then the jeweler called me to say he doest have it in stock and offered me alternatives. I chose to stay in my pleasure and refused to budge on my choice so he has promised to get me exactly what I want and have it delivered by Saturday. I made the decision and even when faced with another choice(the others were cute), I chose to follow my heart and Ms. P’s choice. Pussy wants what she wants and she’s not stepping back. The Goddess is generous and is providing. Thank you so much. It feels great to make a decision and stand in that space with certainty that I rarely have felt before.

  • Rachel Northrup April 15, 2012, 7:20 pm

    Dear Mama Gena,
    I love the hall pass idea and I love your story I used to suffer from indecision big time and then I made some big decisions and it set me free. I still have to watch when those second guesses sneak in but recently my friend shared an affirmation when something happened that she was NOT excited about and that is “this is the best thing that has ever happened”. Somehow trusting life has a way of dissolving the indecision and I love the idea of life as a practice jumping horses.
    Heres to the SWEET SPOT *
    SG Rachel

  • julia April 23, 2012, 9:31 am


  • Kiki May 1, 2012, 9:23 am

    Oh wow, this is so conscious and correct! Funny thing is, I recently discovered that I was wrought with indecision about the tiniest things for years, and once I became aware of it, I felt empowered to change it. Most of the time, I’m either indecisive about something because of one of two things, or both: worrying about what relatives and/or in-laws will think, or worrying if I offended someone with a rather ordinary remark, decision, etc., despite knowing my own good heart. And I came up with a mantra of sorts: “if I have to keep explaining mySELF (not my intentions, not my reasons, not my feelings, but myself, my history, my heart, my Kiki essence) to you, then you’re gone.” I don’t banish you from my life (I have done this to a rare few, but not many), but you’re “gone” as in your input is no longer relevant, because you don’t know me well enough or you don’t care about me. And let me tell you, I’ve lightened the load of some pretty toxic and silly people with this empowerment and have not regretted it one bit! .. Thank you for this blog, for I will remember it whenever I’m stuck on something and I’ll go ahead and make that decision and stick with it, no matter what ‘splaining others may expect from me!

  • Ness May 7, 2012, 10:19 am

    Thanks! One of the hardest things about my job is the number of decisions I have to make every day. I am pretty good at listening to my instincts. And I use this “you’re allowed to make mistakes” theory when I’m doing creative work, but I haven’t taken it into business decisions before. There seems to be so much riding on those! But I know how effective the attitude is for creativity. So thanks, I’m off to go let myself make mistakes this week. And longer.

  • Elaine February 6, 2013, 10:07 am

    Sounds like Lacey is a bona fide Sister Goddess. :)

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