Are You Sure? is a funny question to ask someone.
It was a beautiful day at Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago. 80-degree weather with people everywhere, packing the beaches.
We needed water for our bike ride so I ran inside a grocery store on the south side of Tahoe to get a couple of bottles. As I entered, an Asian mother with a baby stroller and a young daughter exited the store.
The mother was clearly agitated at the young girl, who was probably seven or eight years old.
She told her daughter that she needed to make quicker decisions…she takes too much time to make a decision…she needs to make up her mind more quickly!
The mother didn’t hold back what she wanted to tell her child, no matter who was around.
I tried acting like I wasn’t listening as I casually strolled past them but by the look on the daughter’s face, her mother was slightly embarrassing her.
However, I tend to agree with the mother. Guiding her child to get ready for the world as she grows into adulthood (to be confident and mindful of her actions) isn’t easy.
Are you sure? I asked Her
Later, I was keeping my five-year-old niece. She had made a decision where I quickly replied, “Are you sure?”
The memory of the Asian mother came running back to me like a rabbit.
I thought, why did I ask my niece that? And more importantly, why do I always ask that question to people? And of myself?
If someone makes a decision, then that’s the decision. Go with it.
I’m revising some artwork of mine. Unfortunately, somewhere my house has hidden a particular colored pencil I need because I can’t find it anywhere.
So, I went to Hobby Lobby to buy another set. Next to the colored pencils were the watercolor pencils. I picked up a set and read the package. It read ‘Rich in Pigment.’ I like rich colors and I’ve always wanted to try them, so maybe I should.
I looked at the prices and the different brands and compared them to the colored pencils. I grew overwhelmed with the choices but I wanted to make the right decision. But it was starting to drag on…and on.
Suddenly, the Asian mother’s advice to make a quicker decision popped into my head again. I picked up the expensive set with so many beautiful colors and decided I would buy them. Then I took off to the glass bead section.
Are you sure? I asked Me
But all the while I had them in my hands, my conscience whistled the tune: are you sure about those? You should get the smaller, cheaper set because if you don’t like them, you won’t waste your money!
Because I live with that person in my head, I listened. And, sometimes, she’s not my favorite person. Living with “her” can be slightly miserable.
But I did what “she” said.
On the ride of my mid-life, the days seem to grow shorter, and time seems to pass more quickly. It’s a time when I want my decisions to matter.
Trying to stay in tune with my intuitive guidance is a skill I keep honing, but I do confuse myself by asking— are you sure?
That little three-word question prolongs my quick decision-making. Probably more times than not.
Thinking back, I should have kept the expensive pack of watercolor pencils. I didn’t because they were…eh hem… more expensive. I justified putting them back with the above statement about wasting my money.
At least, If I don’t like the cheap package, well, they were only a few dollars.
I know you’ve been there, too, right? Please say yes.
Aye, Yi Yi.
Using the Three Words Correctly
So instead, let’s use the three words Are You Sure more wisely as a quick check. You know, making it constructive.
When making decisions, ask ‘Are You Sure’ to do an intuitive guidance check and see where your peace lands. That’s the direction you should go—no looking back.
We may not feel complete peace, but one will indeed override the other.
We all could probably fire off what we don’t want more than what we do want, like, I don’t ever want to bungee jump! Don’t even ask. Or I don’t want to dig graves for a living (I have no idea where that one came from??? :-/) but you get the point.
Think twice before asking your child or someone else, Are You Sure? Let their decision be their decision without asking if they’re sure about it.
Of course, you may want to intervene if the child wants to jump off the roof and onto the trampoline. True story for another time.