Are you in the middle of making a decision? Is it a big one?! We face multiple decision each and every day. ‘What am I going to do next? How will I get that done? What am I going to wear? Where am I going to get the resources? Which way do I go?’
Yet when we face a major decision, some people get paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake. ‘What if’…that paralyzing phrase that keep many souls from forging ahead — ‘what if?’ What if I make a mistake? What if I make the wrong choice? Did you know that Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and roughly 1100 other patented inventions, took 1000 tries to make a light bulb that would work? When asked about it he said that he simply discovered 999 ways not to create a light bulb.
Can you imagine if Edison had been afraid of making a mistake?! If he had allowed that concept to keep him from trying? We’d literally be in the dark! Fear of making mistakes typically flows out of perfectionism — the tendency to set the bar of one’s expectations outside of reality. Perfectionism creates a steady diet of shame and actually breeds procrastination. It also creates obsession and fear of failure. “What if I make a mistake?” Well, if you do, then you are human. Welcome to the race!
If you’re not sure how to move forward, pick a decision that doesn’t have major consequences to it and make a choice. Exercise a preference. If you’re not sure what your preference is, then guess. Practice making a choice. Then try tackling the bigger decision. It might be helpful to do a pros-cons T-chart where you write out the pros and cons of doing and not doing the decision. Seek to make a good decision by educating yourself — enlist a wise friend or seek out therapy to walk it through. Then do it — make the decision. If you make a mistake, then deal with it. But at some point, you need to take the risk of making a decision. Don’t allow the fear of making a mistake paralyze you from making a choice that might change your life in the most incredible way!