Being afraid of making a bad decision is a feeling we all know too well.
It certainly doesn't help that society tells us one bad decision could ruin our lives. But when you look more closely at why people aren't happy, you'll notice it's usually not one decision that got them there. It's the result of hundreds of them.
Sure, it may have started with one seemingly bad decision that led to a slew of others. But often, what caused their unfortunate situation is something completely unrelated to the culmination of a bunch of wrong choices. The real issue is that they neglected to view their failures as opportunities. They failed to learn and grow from them.
And thus, we come to the eight-word strategy that has the power to remove your fear of making bad decisions forever:
Sounds bold right? Well, it's actually pretty simple. If you experience a failure, or if something didn't go the way you wanted it to, use the opportunity to learn from it. Dissect it. Get curious about it. Figure out what went wrong and why. And use that information to plot your course moving forward.
And guess what? The likelihood of it happening again will be minimal. If you commit to these eight words, then you'll build your confidence in decision making. You won't be so afraid of making a bad move anymore. This doesn't mean you won't approach tough choices with thoughtfulness and care. It just means you won't be held back by the fear of an outcome that may or may not happen.
Here's a four-step process to help you make big decisions with little fear.
1. Ask yourself: What is your instinct saying?
Your instinct is the first thing that will speak to you. Far too often we downplay instinct and don't value it. This is a mistake. Our instinct is a wise voice, and as we get older it gets wiser because it's a culmination of every experience we've ever had. So, honor your instinct.
2. Consider the worst case scenario.
If you are not sure you can hear your instincts, or you're second guessing your instinct, get rational. Make a list of the worst-case scenarios for your situation. Write down details so you know that if that were to happen, you have a plan. Most often, the worst-case scenario feels far worse than it actually happening.
3. Give it a few days.
During this time, rather than talking to a lot of people, get more connected to yourself. Meditate or do activities that make you feel grounded and peaceful. It is at this state that you will hear your instinct more loudly and give yourself time to think through a variety of scenarios.
4. Move forward.
Lastly, make your decision, trusting that no matter what, you will grow and learn from the outcome...even if that outcome is a failure.
In my experience, it's always our failures that teach us more than our wins. Once you can embrace them wholeheartedly as teachers rather than as a sign of your own value, you can then feel free to make decisions with joy, knowing whatever outcome will take you one step closer to being who you want to be.