Sunday, August 23, 2009

Translating Fear of Wrong Decisions to Learning From Wrong Decisions

Yesterday during my morning walk, I was reading, yes on my iPhone, a Daily Om newsletter on Self-Determination. In reading, I came across a sentence that alluded to how we are stopped by the fear of wrong decisions. I know this is a common barrier for me, having been raised on the sanctity of right decisions, and the utter sinfulness of wrong ones. This is also a habit I witness overwhelmingly in my coachees. This fear of wrong decisions is a problem when taken too far, and especially when it robs us of learning and the opportunities that learning takes advantage of.

With adequate time to reflect, I think you would agree that there has been a rare decisions made which did not have a risk of being wrong, yet, we generally have made the decision, reaped the benefits of its rightness, and the learnings of its wrongness without the world or our lives coming to an end. In situations where we procrastinated endlessly, we neither benefited or learned from our procrastination. I acknowledge here that sometimes the best decision is to sit tight but even in those cases, we should decide deliberately, and without fear, thus reserving our energy to better adapt to and learn from whatever happens, right or wrong.

As I have more and more decisions behind me in life, I have have developed confidence in this method of investing my energy more in learning from, and adapting to, wrong decisions than in fearing them, as they are inevitable. I am not perfect at it but I improve with every mindful decision. I encourage this perspective in you also.

Remember, every decision has a risk of right and wrong in it. Celebrate the right and learn from the wrong, but do not be paralyzed by fear of the latter.

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