If only I had said...
...to all the opportunities
Where would I be now?
Would I still be here...
Doing this very job?
Or would I be on the other side of the world...
Living my best life?
I wouldn't know
Because I've always said...
...out of my fear
of the unknown.
There are some moments when I thought to myself:
"If only I had done it sooner, I would be in a better place by now."
It's a familiar feeling that often lingers around regrets. I'm sure you've experienced it too. But why did we feel this way? Why didn't we do "it" sooner?
Polishing, planning, preparing
I used to think of myself as a perfectionist; I overthink and overanalyse. Everything should be planned down to every detail so I won't regret anything. Once I'm done, I have to polish everything until they all shine before I call it a day.
That's the problem.
Perfection does not exist. Aiming for perfection is aiming for the impossible. In life, there will always be something better, something to be improved.
My obsession with perfection is no longer about making things right. It's about fearing that something might go wrong. I am focused on my imaginary failures, and in the end, I am afraid to start.
And ironically, avoiding regrets in the name of perfection made me regret my decisions more.
Perfection is just an excuse.
I was afraid of failing.
If you don’t know…
At some point in my career, I used to worry too much and often waver between decisions.
I was lucky to have a manager who supported me and helped me change for the better. He gave me one piece of advice that I will always remember, written on the very first page of a book that he gave me:
“If you don’t know, just give it a go.”
Foresee the future
I use mind mapping to to help me navigate through ideas, decisions, and expectations. Whenever I'm in doubt, I write down all of my options on paper.
I put the main topic in the centre of the paper and grow the mind map as I think out loud. By doing this, my future is no longer vague and ambiguous. I can foresee the future.
Trust me; it's less scary this way.
The pros and cons
Once I have a list of actions, I will complete them with the pros and cons. This helps me understand how they would affect me and my future if I do them.
Comparing the pros and cons of each action would help me to converge and ultimately decide which option would be best for me.
Lastly, before deciding what to do, I will take a step back and consider the purpose of doing this.
If you are looking for a job, what are you looking for? Money? Company? Or the learning experience? If you are buying a new phone, what do you need? A cheap one, a good camera, or a good one that could last for years?
Adjust your decisions to match your needs and conditions. It’s easy to make the decision we want, but it is better to decide based on what we need.
After all, what you want may not always be what you need.
Break the pattern
If you don’t do something, nothing will happen. Then the next year, you'll think about why didn't you do "it" sooner.
To break the pattern, you need to change yourself.
And to make it less scary, you can write everything down, list the pros and cons, and compare them one by one.
It sounds like a lot of work. But do this once, and you'll never feel scared about the future again.
You can shape your future.
The future is predictable.
I hope you find this post inspiring.
And whenever life feels too much, remember:
It's not going to be easy,
But it's not impossible.