Dealing with Fear

Waiting for a Guarantee

via pinterest. {original from}

“I used to worry, ‘What is the meaning of life? What should I be doing with my life?’ Now I see that maybe you don’t even really know why you’re doing something or what the meaning is. It’s just something you’re doing.”

– Jerry Horovitz, small publishing house Amber Lotus sole proprietor. From Carol Adrienne’s The Purpose of Your Life.

When are we ever sure we’re on the right path? Heck sometimes I’m not even sure if I chose the “right” restaurant for dinner, let alone know whether I’m doing the best when it comes to choosing a career or a place to live.

But is there really any guarantees in life?

The real threat is the impact making a wrong decision has on our ego. How much will you beat yourself up, for example, if you decide not to quit your day job or if you decide to? Being an adult means that any mistakes we make is ours and ours alone. When the buck stops, it stops right in front of you. And how you handle that is probably congruent to how afraid you are and how indecisive you might be.

That quote above by Horovitz is telling of a wise man who’s live to tell the tale. A few sentences later he says:

“Maybe you don’t see the purpose until later…Most of the time our work is probably a reflection of what we are working on inside ourselves.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Of course, a part of me wishes that I didn’t need to work as a research assistant, a PI or a therapist before I finally gave into my childhood dream of being a writer. But in retrospect, I hardly think that the person I was ten years ago was ready or experienced enough to do the jobs I’m currently doing today. All that experience has shaped me as a writer. It’s taught me how to fail miserably, pick up the pieces and keep going. It’s given me research skills and taught me the importance of patience. And of course, life experience = great fodder for a writer.

I write this to you who feel lost right now.

These random nonsensical paths you are making have purpose even if you can’t see the end of the tunnel yet. Sometimes we don’t know why we’re in a dead-end job or feel stuck in a location we hate. But maybe this is a reflection of what’s going inside of you. Maybe instead of berating ourselves for being indecisive or consistently making the wrong decisions, what if we were to completely accept and respect where we are now?

Life is not like math class. There is no right and wrong answer. All we can ever do is to guess and hope we guessed well. And even then when we think we made the best choice possible, well sometimes that’s not enough. That’s okay too.

Feel free to make “mistakes” in this universal class called life. And when you inevitably do, try not to be so hard on yourself. Remember you don’t know the outcome yet. Maybe you are on a different path than you planned, but this one is leading toward healing, teaching you how to accept your mistakes or giving you the opportunity to grow courage so that you can eventually live your dreams. Don’t rush the process. And above all, realize that whether you’re deciding between Italian or Chinese or you’re making a decision to change your life, you will get another chance. Let go of the pressure to be perfect and release the severity of the decision. We’re built to deal with the consequences either way.

Good luck!

I’m betting we’ll all be okay.

{Still don’t know what to do? Get great practical advice from Goodlife ZenΒ on increasing your chances of making the “right” decision.}

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  • Steve Rice

    Love this post, Brandi. This quote especially connected with me this morning: “The real threat is the impact making a wrong decision has on our ego.”

    I think that’s so profound…I don’t know if you intended that as a focal point of your post, but it really jumped out at me. And even more concisely, what really resonated was the idea of the “threat”.

    Often, it’s not even the actual impact of the wrong decision that paralyzes us but the ‘threat’ of that impact. Great distinction…thanks for making me think!

    • Brandi

      You know one of the things I love most about blogging? You never know what readers will take from what you wrote. I LOVE that you zoomed in how making a seemingly “wrong” decision impacts your ego. It’s something that I’m tested with every time I play a game or choose a restaurant. I don’t want others to blame me or more importantly, I don’t want to blame myself. It’s definitely an ego thing. Thanks for your comment!

  • Kemari

    Another beautiful post that touches on the very things so many of us feel at some point or another. Thank you for this. πŸ™‚

    I will definitely be passing this on.

    • Brandi

      Aw thanks Kemari! My main reason for staying up later than I should at night is hoping that my often tired words will inspire someone. Thanks for always making me believe it’s worth it!