Why are we so afraid to make quick decisions? We spend a lot of time reading and planning and liking motivational posts on social media – but we often stop there and don’t take it any further than that.
I recently came across a quote from one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speeches that said:
“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
And my overactive imagination agrees.
You have to reach out and grab opportunities instead of expecting them to fall in your lap. That’s not going to happen, no matter how many vision boards you create or affirmations you shout at yourself in the mirror – you are the only one responsible for taking action.
There’s a lot to say about the power of making quick and bold decisions. And to be honest, I think it’s an underrated skill. So many people find themselves stuck in crappy situations because they either can’t make a decision, or they won’t make one out of fear that they’ll make the *wrong* one.
And then rather than choosing how and where they want their life to go, life happens to them instead.
And guess what? These same people are the ones who find themselves full of regret later on when they inevitably look back on their lives and think what could have been, had they not been so scared.
Time waits for nobody. And there is no way that we can predict the future (that we know of, at least!)
You are the only constant in your life, so don’t let yourself be one of those people full of regret.
But you don’t understand. I need to think carefully about my next move, as there’s so much at stake here.
Of course I get it. No one’s asking you to quit your job and invest your life savings into some half-baked idea with no substantial research – I’m not in the business of encouraging stupidity. However, there comes a time when endless research won’t get you any closer to where you want to be.
There is no substitute for action.
The sunk cost fallacy
But I’ve invested so much time, energy, and money into this thing – I don’t want it all to go to waste!
There is no unwritten rule that says that once you’ve decided on something, you must stick to it until the bitter end. Even if you’ve spent a boatload of cash on it, or you’ve spent a long time studying for the cause. That is the sunk cost fallacy at work, and it doesn’t bode well for anyone – least of all big businesses or governments.
Consider either the Concorde or HS2 projects. Had these guys made quick decisions, they wouldn’t have wasted so much money (of course there were some other factors at play, but these are not the point of this post).
Fear of failure
But what if I tell everyone that I’m doing this thing, then I fail spectacularly and everyone laughs at me?
First of all, the people who support you are going to support you, no matter what. Even if you think you’re not doing so well, you might be surprised at how many people are rooting for you!
Secondly, get over yourself – what if I told you that nobody cares? (Not in mean way, though).
We all have the tendency to over-inflate our significance in other people’s lives. If you reflect on how little time you spend thinking about what other people in your life are doing, you’ll see what I mean.
So what if your “haters” are watching? The odds are that they don’t care enough to do anything about it – they might just have a looky-loo and then get back to doing whatever shady activities they usually do.
Let this thought liberate you – and make a quick decision to go ahead and fail.
Fail often and fail fast. You’ll learn a lot more that way!