What if I get it wrong? On choices and decisions

When I was young, my dad used to stand and wait for me in the sweet shop for over half an hour. For 10 years, every week on a Wednesday, he used to take me to piano lessons and then to the sweet shop to buy me a chocolate bar. He’d wait patiently for me to make my mind up, never hurrying me, never telling me which one to buy! But all that choice! How is a little girl supposed to decide?!!!

I’m still like that sometimes. Looking at all the choices the world has to offer and waiting for one of them to just jump out and say ‘pick me’.  Like there’s one magic choice that is perfect and ‘right’. So many ideas, so many choices; WHAT IF I GET IT WRONG?!!!

I get like that sometimes, but living in indecision slows you down and weighs you down with worry and doubt!

Have you ever turned something over in your head so much it hurts? Wrestled with yourself until you’re frustrated and worn out? What then? Made a choice but still felt like it was wrong or worried if it was right? Or not made a decision at all and just let things float by and not do anything? Or maybe asked someone else to make your mind up for you? Yep, I relate to all these things.

In any day, we are given many decisions to make. Ranging from ‘what will I wear today’ to ‘where will I live’ or ‘should I marry him” Clearly some decisions have larger consequences than others, but is there really any right or wrong when it comes to decisions?

Let’s take a really simple example that has been weighing me down unnecessarily. My email newsletter. You wouldn’t think there would be too many ways I could actually get it wrong, but I’ll let you inside my head for a while and share a few fears I have around getting it wrong and see if you can relate to any…

So how could I get a newsletter wrong in my mind… There’s really only a couple of specific ways I could actually get it wrong technically, something like sending it to the wrong list, making spelling mistakes or well that’s about it… So what else could be ‘wrong with it’…

  • Someone might disagree with what I’m saying
  • I give it the wrong title and no-one opens it
  • I might make it too short or too long
  • People might not read it or reply to it
  • It may not be as good as it could be
  • I may miss out something really important

How can I let go of the fear of getting it wrong and most importantly get it out there? The truth is none of these things are wrong – or for that matter right. It’s all a matter of personal judgement.

Simple things to remember when making decisions.

1. Have the courage to do or say what feels right, no matter the consequences.
You can’t please all the people all the time. I’m quite sure not everyone will see things the way I see them, but that’s the point… sharing your voice assists others in seeing things in a new light, so I’m not afraid to have people disagree, it’s part of sharing.

2. Be clear on your expectations. Let go of the outcome. This is leads to worry and doubt of failure. I’m not writing this to get replies, I’m writing it to help others, so it’s not important that anyone replies. In fact if one person reads this and gets something valuable from it, then it’s been a success. Decide what you’d like to be the result, be clear on your intention, but then let it go. Don’t rely on that to be a measure of your happiness or success.

4. Who says it’s right or wrong?
Maybe it’s long, maybe it’s short – compared to what and judged by who? It might annoy or it might please.  Depends on the reader. Comparing yourself to others is a sure fire way to scare yourself and stop yourself from doing anything. There is no one right or wrong way only your way.

5. Have faith in your own decisions. If your actions and words are delivered from a space of truth and integrity, then they can’t be wrong. Have faith that your words and actions will find their place in the world, by the people that needs them most.

6. Start feeling your intuition. Instinctively we know when things feel right or wrong. Sometimes we lose touch with our instincts tune in again. Start by looking at simple decisions like what you choose to eat today, or what you choose to wear. How does it make you feel. How are are making your decisions?

7. Be conscious when making decisions. Slow down and be aware of what your choices are and you will find yourself making decisions that resonate with you and are better for everyone in the long run.

8. Don’t let fear hold you back. We are only ever afraid of 2 things, – referring to what has happened in the past, – or thinking about what might happen in the future. Neither are relevant because it’s right here and now where we live. Stay in the moment and you’ll make the right decision for now!

So how do I know it’s right? I know it’s right because I hit the send button. Bottom line I’m giving it a go, I’m putting it out there right or wrong and I’m not afraid of the outcome or attached to the outcome in any way. It’s right for me because I made a decision to share my voice and build a business around helping others do that too and this is one more step in that direction.

What can you do today that moves you ahead regardless of getting it right or wrong?