10 Lessons I Learned from Decisions I Made in 2017, from Kate Petrova


Kate Petrova has written for Seele before. She was born and raised in Russian Siberia, and has traveled to many countries in almost every continent that one can barely keep count. Kate shares her thoughts about the decision fatigue that she experienced in 2017. Sit down with a cuppa cuppa and enjoy.

My 2017 was… weird. I cannot say if it was good or bad and that’s a strange feeling. I had to make so many decisions about really important things. I feel the “decision fatigue” thing is real. I’ve started something incredible but it ended before it was supposed to. I put tons of effort and energy and money into something and then didn’t have a chance to enjoy the results. In Russian, we have a proverb, which says that “the first pancake is always a huge mess” and that’s exactly how I feel about last year. Luckily, there are always lessons to learn, and here's mine:

1). Talk less, do more. Seriously, this is THE most important thing. Too often we talk about our plans, about what we are GOING to do, about a project, whatever. By doing this we have a false feeling that we are already on to something. We are not.

2). Being self-employed is not glamorous at all. Photoshoots, breakfasts, cute apartments, and everything else we see on the Instagram is just the tip of an iceberg. Behind that – hours of actual working, dealing with loneliness, self-doubt and “who am I to talk about that?” feeling.

3). Nothing is the end of the world. Whatever you want to do (or to end), nothing is going to fall apart. If you want to quit a job, leave a country, break up with a boyfriend, and you have the guilt of responsibility and this horrible “how can I do this to them” thought, do it. They’ll be fine.

4). We are constantly losing opportunities and that’s OK. When we chose something, we have to say “no” to something else. I was completely paralyzed with choices so many times, and it always seemed like “if I do this, then I reject that, and if I lose this chance, who knows if there’ll be another one?” There always will be. Putting your priorities first and saying “no” to everything else is essential.

5). Listen to your intuition. Always. Every time I ignored my gut feeling and rationalized too much, it was a mistake.

6). Stress kills you. Nothing is worse for your health. Do your best to avoid it (especially constant stress like a job you hate or a relationship that sucks your energy).

7). Meditate. I’ve finally started doing it regularly in 2017 and that’s the best thing I’ve ever done to myself.

8). Set your own rules and non-negotiables. For me the hardest one is going to bed at 9pm. When I do this I feel AMAZING but it’s hard socially and I had to be really firm when setting up dates with friends and turning off invitations.

9). The best way to combat fear is action. When I start losing myself in self-sabotaging thoughts then I want to eat something sweet/lie down/watch a movie/drink a glass of wine to make myself feel better. It never helps. What does help is putting myself together and start doing work. Action is the best antidote to fear.


10). To start something is hard. Staying consistent is even harder. You’ll want to give up like million times. Just keep it in mind and keep going.