A few days ago I was struggling with a decision. I couldn’t figure out why I was so stressed over which way to go, a or b, so I sat down to meditate. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and quickly realized that I was so afraid to make a mistake. I realized that what I really wanted to do was a, but I would completely flip when I thought of the possible negative consequence of doing so. I was so afraid that if I chose a, what I wanted to choose, it would be a mistake/it would cause something bad to happen. But here’s the thing, b was a crappy option. It didn’t sit well with me, I knew it was “safer” in terms of risk of mistake, but the “negative consequences” were a sure thing, in my mind. It felt like perhaps I just needed to trust myself, so I dug a little deeper. I asked myself, what is this business about being afraid of making a mistake? What is a mistake anyway? What makes it a mistake, versus just a decision?
The answer came to me and my whole body got lighter:
There is no such thing as a mistake, if you are in full responsibility.
In other words, even if negative consequences occur due to my decision, if I made that decision in integrity (ie I thought about it, I knew what I was doing, and I was aware that I may not get the outcome I hope), my decision can never be a mistake, simply because I am fully responsible for it. I made the decision prepared for any outcome, and I can continue to move forward, owning my choice.
Now, being 100% responsible for every decision, is tough! It is so tough. That means owning even the decisions you make on the fly, or while drunk, or when upset, and they may not be the best. BUT YOU GUYS:
With full responsibility comes full acceptance.
Full acceptance = unconditional love. Full responsibility means you get to live IN, THROUGH, and WITH love. Always. To me that's worth it...
A couple reminders:
- Acceptance does not mean complacency. So for instance, this doesn’t mean just accept every consequence of everything you do, and keep doing stupid things. Lol. It means, that perhaps some decisions will lead to not so good outcomes, but rather than beating yourself up for it being a mistake, perhaps you can look at it as an opportunity to learn about how you got there, and what you can do to create a better outcome in the future (**not what someone or something else can do! Super important that you stay in full responsibility).
- Responsibility does not mean blame. (I’ll say that one again - responsibility does NOT mean blame). So if the negative outcome occurs, that also doesn’t mean to blame yourself for your decision. Remember, that decision was not a mistake, IF you can stay true to the fact that you made it, and you knew what might happen, and continue to own your decision and step forward. Responsibility feels powerful and energizing, albeit scary at times, so you know you’ve skipped over to blame if you feel crappy and upset about it.
My point: you might still make “mistakes”, according the normal use of the word. You are human, and it’s ok if every decision is not the perfect decision. However, if at each moment you are showing up to the best of your ability; if at each crossroads you are taking the time to make a decision based on logic and intuition of trusting yourself and what you think is best; if at each moment you are truly doing the best you can and taking responsibility for that: no decision will be followed by regret. When you know you’ve done everything you could, there’s nothing anyone can do to disempower you.
You can begin this at any time. If you feel you have not done your best in the past, that is ok. And even if you don’t do your best tomorrow after reading this, that is ok. Just start where you are. Start taking responsibility. Start owning that it wasn’t your best, and move forward with your best. Start where you are. Start now, and then do it again tomorrow, and then do it again in a week when you’ve forgotten already. ;)