More Often Than Not, It's Just Your Imagination
If there is a truism in each and every one of our lives, it is that we will all suffer setbacks. Whether personally or professionally, something (at times, many things) will not go as planned.
But what creates our success versus our regret is our reaction. More specifically, the voice in our head, what we allow it to say and how we then (accordingly) act.
More often than not, we are programmed towards negative chatter. Persistent, whispering voices that we've allowed to dominate over the years:
This is a disaster. There's no way back from this.
This is a problem beyond anything I can deal with.
I/we cannot recover from this.
The fact is, all of the above is true. And it isn't.
The determining factor is, our story.
It's up to us. What are we telling ourselves? What are we allowing ourselves to do? To be?
How factual - versus emotional - are we being about the situation we are dealing with?
How bad is it, really? How solvable is the problem - in reality, not in our heads?
The fact is that, we claim we don't have the expertise, the insight or the ability. But the reality is, we need to learn to trust ourselves, because no one has "the key".
And no one has figured out a fucking thing that you can't.
So, listen to your instincts. Trust them. Sure, ask for, seek out advice. Look for folks who may have trod this path before you. Hear them out. But then make your own decision. Even if it's wildly different from what they did. Even if they disagree.
Because, more often than not, your situation is your situation. And your (educated) guess is as good as anyone else's.
Take the plunge. You might get it wrong, but more likely, you'll get it right. (And hey, what's "right" anyway?)
It took me a long time to figure this out. I'd be paralyzed by the idea of making the wrong move, of risking disapproval, of not getting it right. But every single situation I look back on, where I didn't trust my instincts, where I listened to someone else (because of fear of disapproval, of making a 'mistake'), where I didn't believe in myself, I now realize that I should have taken my own path.
Because my instincts were right. And where they weren't, I could have figured out the right path. There are no wrong decisions, only lessons that teach you the right way forward.
Look, we all deal with this. It's how so many of us have allowed ourselves to be programmed. There's no point regretting it, but there is a point to learn from it.
There's nothing you can do about the shit that influenced, pushed, impacted how you think and behave to date. But there is everything you can do to influence, control, manage how you think, react and behave going forward.
Stop listening to that voice. Stop letting it make your imagination run wild. It has no right to unless you let it.
Because, as Seneca put it, we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.