When you don’t know or can’t predict the outcome, how do you take the leap when success is not guaranteed? As a recovering perfectionist, one thing I’ve learned, waiting for perfection is lost opportunity.
While others are shipping, gaining market share, starting a new business venture or having that great relationship, you may be waiting for all the pieces to be in place before you take the leap. You have your sight on the prize, you have your steps to your destination planned, you just can’t pull the trigger, you aren’t sure you’ll succeed.
How’s that been working out for you? How comfortable do you feel when your idea, market share, desired job or your dream man/woman is snatched up by someone else? You may spend hours, days or even years kicking yourself in the backside for it. “Analysis Paralysis” and perfection will keep you from getting what you want and having it go to someone that took the leap, without guarantees. As a baby, you had no concept of a guarantee, you were not guaranteed you would walk, but you kept trying and failing, without fear until you got it!
We hate the loss more than we love the gain. In high stakes, this is exaggerated. Our brain is wired to record gains and losses, but loss holds more impact in memory and in training thought patterns.
Making the decision to go for it is a strategy I call “unpredicted gain”. An “unpredicted gain’ is either A. you obtain your desired outcome or B. you gain knowledge and experience through finding your weak spots C. you find a new opportunity or stepping stone to an even greater success. All well-formed outcomes and attempts are gains. When you don’t take the leap, you’ve already lost. What’s better, to take the chance at success or fail in fear?
Make the decision, knowing, no matter what happens, you will gain knowledge, experience, skills and find your weak spots. You may even find success and a triumphant victory! What you won’t gain is another kick in the backside session. Sitting back and saying, “I could have” is a poor cop-out for pure effort, guts and determination. “I could have” counts for nothing, “I gave it my best” is a victory in and of itself. The road to success is paved with failures.