"Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you've got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don't start, you never get a chance."
― Seth Godin, Poke the Box
I feel that sometimes we need reminding that we are natural conduits for the rivers of life's potential. But with our minds and society constantly imposing limiting social norms, ideals and expectations - there's a lot in this world that can stop the natural flow of our growth, learning, contentment and ultimately allowing this potential to manifest.
So this here is my self reflective advice.
1. Quit being undecided
'Undecided' is a cluttered waiting room that we find ourselves in when our minds decide to hold us hostage.
Sometimes it's necessary to spend a short time in here in order to calculate our decision. But the problem arises when we set up a semi permanent home in this seductive space.
This particular waiting room has nothing to offer besides an illusory shelter from the pain of being wrong. And blinded by this illusion, we often miss the crux - that life in the waiting room doesn't necessarily stop us from walking the wrong path, it simply deprives us of the opportunity to eventually find the right one.
2. If you're going to get it wrong, get on with it
Ever been asked a question and gotten the wrong answer because you were too scared to follow your gut? Or toned down what you were going to say so much that it lost it's actual message? Well, I figured I usually do this because I'd become attached to the safety of being 'half-assed'.
But the only true solace is to go in fully fledged. Allowing ourselves to be wrong in all its totality increases our frequency of being totally right. Nobody wants to walk away saying 'I knew I should've said what I was thinking' or 'Man, I knew deep down that this was what I should've done'.
Embracing the risk of being totally wrong is where the real growth begins.
3. Get out of the way, allow your ego takes a beating
Sometimes we're burned by the heat of shame and we feel painfully stupid for our screw ups. But evidence shows that much more stupid than messing up is pretending like we didn't.
At the acknowledgment stage - following through by allowing ourselves to stand corrected is a sensible way to go. It's about humbling ourselves enough to allow ourselves to be shown the right way. The shame isn't in being corrected, the shame is found in our egotistical ignorance...
So just sit back and allow the process to unfold. Remember, we can only stand corrected once we've made the mistake. Nobody can edit a blank page.
4. Get yourself a dream catcher
Nobody wants to be plagued by reoccurring nightmares doomed to repeat themselves until we learn the hidden lesson. The sooner we open ourselves to this growth and take away the lesson(s) the sooner we can get back to moving forward.
Remember the best teachers aren't the people who have simply made a string of 'right' decisions. The best teachers are the ones who understand the challenges of a student through their own multitude of personal screw ups.
5. Pack light, let go and soldier on swiftly
Stay on the path and don't become bogged down by the weight of your mistakes! Excess baggage has a tendency to make the waiting room seem more desirable than the actual journey. So leave the mistakes where they're at and allow the lessons to serve as a seasoned guide for the future.
6. Kiss the pain
Giving thanks for our mistakes and lessons changes our relationship with them. We transform something dark, into something of light - and our enemy becomes our ally. When we change the way we look at an experience we place ourselves in better stead to harness it's blessings.
7. Apologise or Analyse
Lean to the apology if you've effected other people and analysis if it's just on you. Being forced to face the brunt of our mistakes can make this bit a little difficult. But never underestimate the transformative nature of this stage. Even if that person doesn't accept the apology it can still do a lot for you - if it's coming from a place of honesty.
8. Embrace your inner transformer
All of the above is pretty pointless without the finale... The part where we take time to modify our behaviour or however it is that we've screwed up. But don't be too hung up on how things might turn out. We might still get it wrong again, or even in a different way. The important thing is a sincere attempt to change what's been identified as wrong.
It may take 3 attempts or even 300 attempts. But providing you're embodying the above, know that if you're still getting it wrong - at least it's likely that getting it wrong the right way.