Updated: Nov 17, 2019
We live in a world of so much possibility it’s incomprehensible. We can move about the globe and experience a multitude of climates, cultures, foods, music, arts. Any day of the week we can choose what we want to do: skydive, care for small children, stand up for social justice issues, play hookie, pursue dental hygienist training, make quilts, drive a different way to work, eat fried chicken, binge watch “The Walking Dead”... The options for many of us are endless. We kind of have a lot going on here on planet Earth. And thanks to social media, at any given moment we can get a glimpse of what humanity is up today just by picking up our smartphones.
As long as I can remember, I’ve seen the world as a place full of opportunity. As a curious explorer, it’s excited me, inspired me and also terrified me. You see, as wonderful as all of these opportunities are, for many years I was afraid that I would make the wrong choice and that fear kept me from making any decisions. You should have seen me at a New Jersey diner with a menu the size of the bible…
FOMO, the fear of missing out, is totally a thing for me. Weighing the opportunity cost of every choice has practically paralyzed me at times, and left me feeling like an empty plastic bottle floating around on the ocean.
Which gets me to this: I’ve been experimenting with the idea that I cannot make a mistake. Yes, you read that right, I cannot make a mistake. And no, I’m not an egotistical, narcissistic poopy-head (I promise). By choosing this thought, I am removing judgement from my options. They just simply are options, not right or wrong.
Guess what, you can play with this idea too. Try it on! Say this to yourself right now…
I CANNOT MAKE A MISTAKE!
If it was true for you and me that we can not make mistakes, how would that change how we make decisions? Would we feel more freedom? Would we trust ourselves more?
How would it change how we look at the past? How would we respond to failure? Would we forgive more easily?
Now don't get me wrong, I love my life and I’m grateful for all of the choices (and non choices) I’ve made. I have lived my life with joy, adventure, fun and contentment. But, I’ve done a lot of it a safe distance from the edge of my comfort zone.
I am about halfway through my professional coach training with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC for short, www.ipeccoaching.com). In hindsight, the decision to pursue coach training felt 100% right, even though the thought of it was about a mile and a half outside of my comfort zone. I made the decision based on the gut feeling that it was the right next step for me. And it has been a profound, life changing experience. Yay! My gut was right!
I’ve learned to trust my intuition and that making my choices based on my values helps me to navigate the sea of endless opportunity. So the next time I am at a crossroads, will I have the confidence to know that I CANNOT MAKE A MISTAKE?
I have an opportunity to skydive with some of my IPEC coaching peers next month. It’s what one of our coaches is calling an “empowerment exercise” (Disclaimer: this is NOT in any way a part of the IPEC training program). For some of us, it will be a first time experience, others have jumped before, and for one extremely empowered individual, it's just another Sunday.
Skydiving was never on my bucket list and I don't have a “need for speed” in my life. I’ve got enough adrenaline, thank you very much. YET, It's so exciting to think about sharing this experience with my new friends. And what a wonderful symbolic experience it will be, transcending my fears and jumping into my new reality as a professional coach.
I have not decided whether or not I’d really like to join my friends. But I do know this, I CANNOT MAKE A MISTAKE!
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