Stop Justifying Your Thinking and Decision-making, Now

Originally written for The Women in Leadership Nexus.

I was scrolling through my newsfeeds this morning while in bed, as one does, when I stumbled upon a remarkable story. The title of the article: “Tenn. Woman Who Thought She Had Food Poisoning Delivers Own Baby in Turkish Hotel Using YouTube.”

In a series of tweets, Tia Freeman told the entire story…

  • How she discovered she was pregnant in her third trimester but had booked a flight to Germany to see her best friend (“ya girl was not about to waste international flight money”).

  • How she thought she had gotten food poisoning from her on-flight salmon entrée (“where are these cramps coming from? You know what I’ll just go to sleep. Sleep cures everything right”).

  • How her contractions were one-minute apart by the time she got to her hotel in Istanbul for her 17-hour layover.

  • How she YouTubed delivery methods and cut the umbilical cord with a pair of sterilized shoe laces.

The coolest thing about the story to me was Freeman’s response to the world’s reactions: “I still don’t understand what’s so shocking about my delivery story,” she tweeted. “Maybe it’ll set in one day.”

I’m completely in love with this woman’s bold practicality. I love how unfazed she is by what happened. She was pregnant. She went into labor. She did what she had to do and safely delivered her baby. Simple as that.

Most of all, I love how she doesn’t feel the need to explain or justify herself to anyone. She could’ve tried to make excuses for what happened (“I shouldn’t have tried to travel”), but instead owns her decision making and embraces it for the amazing, beautiful and unconventional experience to which it led.

It was her decision, and she’s not letting anyone make her feel anything but empowered by it.

I think this is an important mindset for us all to have. To unabashedly own our thoughts and decisions, no matter how unusual they may seem to others. Honestly, who cares? No one who matters or truly supports you should. Focus on those things that align with your true self. Surround yourself with those things that make you your best you.

You have nothing to prove to anyone. You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t have to rationalize your decision making. You don’t have to justify who you are. If we can hold onto this, I truly believe we’ll find deeper meaning and happiness. We’ll mature into a greater version of ourselves as a friend, family member, co-worker and leader.

I’ve found that people who pressure others to justify or explain their decisions simply aren’t happy with their own. Rise above with support and love.