Take a chance, leap, trust, go for it! These are all great words of wisdom until you are paralyzed by indecision and afraid to make the “wrong” choice. It can often feel overwhelmingly difficult to move forward in those moments when you can see the benefits of both options–or worse the risks of both.
Let’s take a deeper look at one of our recommendations for keeping on track to manifesting your dreams–take a chance. We all know that the pros and cons of big decisions are rarely cut and dry. The “right” answer often eludes us and at these moments we find our inner guidance too quiet to hear over the chatter of internal arguments going on in our head. At these times the words “take a chance” can seem frivolous and definitely not inspirational.
Often we do not move forward with inspiration because we fear the effect on our life and others. And then the opportunity passes and we find ourselves in wishful agony about things we didn’t do.
So how do we create strength in ourselves to make these big decisions and get out of grid lock?
First, we need to assess the cost of not moving.
Sometimes opportunities are fleeting and we need to know the cost of not acting. Make a list. The lost opportunity costs can be financial gain, emotional benefits, lifestyle changes, and future opportunities that arise from this first decision. The cost can also be timing costs–if the change is going to happen at some point anyway and we wait, we loose precious opportunity to start building the new.
Second, we need to get clarity on the real risks.
If a decision is emotional our perceived risks are usually tied to baggage from past choices–related or not–that make our perception of this situation overstated. By writing down a list of the possible risks of taking this chance we can scrub off some of the story and see the real risks. (A list does not have editorial space so it can limit the emotional story that builds each risk into something bigger than life.)
A technique I learned years ago to gain perspective on the “what if this happens” fears is to take each item on my risk list and ask two questions. One, “How likely is this to happen?” Give it a number between 1 and 10 with 10 being 100% likely. Discard anything scoring under 4 –it probably should not be getting the weight it is getting in this decision. The second question I ask is, “What would be worse than this risk happening?” I then come up with 4-5 things that I would dislike happening even more than the perceived risk keeping me from acting. When I look at the “big” possible problems stopping me from moving in context to other bad things that could go wrong in my life they start to take their place in the range of possibilities. I make better choices when I have a balanced perspective and my “boogy man” risks are reduced to their real size.
Once we have looked honestly at the risks to taking or not taking action we must turn our attention to the benefits of taking the leap of faith in ourselves and this decision.
Writing on a separate piece of paper all the positive outcomes we expect or hope for by making this choice will help give weight to them. We should let our imagination go, add details and how we will feel when we have accomplished our desired plan. As we write about one outcome another may come to mind and be added. This is not the pros and cons excercise that has been going on in our head. It is the vivid creation of images that help us assess whether this decision really excites us and the potential of it happening gives us chills. Because at the end of the day, those are the only things we want to invest our energy in anyway.
One last thing to assess–and often we need the help of a good friend who can be honest with us–is how much of what is holding us back is purely our lack of confidence in ourselves or our lack of investment in the things that make our heart sing?
If we invest in ourself and the worse thing on our list happens, we still might be better off than if we stay in a place where our own actions do not validate our worthiness. Here are some great quotes to help motivate bold, inspired action.
“It’s better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at great length and be right too late.” ~ Marilyn Moss
“The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourself. The cardinal principle of decision-making is decide right where you are with whatever you’ve got.” ~ Bob Proctor
“What lies before you and what lies behind you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you.” ~ Emerson
“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.” ~ Marianne Williamson
“This is the time to take off the shell of your past and step into the rich possibilities of your future. God does not give us dreams that we cannot fulfill. If you want to do something great with your life-whether it’s to fall madly in love, become a teacher, be a great parent-if you aspire to do something beyond what you are doing now, this is the time to begin. Trust yourself.” ~ Debbie Ford
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~Thomas Edison
“Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it.” ~ Caroline Myss
“So, what can’t you take? Decide which of the two options is harder, and do the other. That way, no matter how hard your choice turns out to be, at least you can find comfort in knowing you’re avoiding something even worse.” ~ Josephine Andelini, Starcrossed
“Don’t be an extra in your own movie.” ~ Bob Proctor
And when all else fails remember to take yourself less seriously! My first boss reminded me of this and asked me to assess all my successes and failures in the light of, “What will this mean to me in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years? What will this mean to the rest of the world? How important is it in the scheme of things, really?