I want a guarantee!

Have you ever said that? I know I have. And it often comes when faced with a decision that involves a significant investment of money, time or energy. Or sometimes a combination of all three, at which point we really desire surety that we’re making the right decision.

What we actually want is to avoid making a mistake because avoiding the pain of making a mistake is more important to us than the success that may come from a new direction. So, we decide to stay where we are, not take a risk…to stay safe.

But what does safe get us?

Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

Usually, just more of the same. But the same often has its own pain.

I was recently faced with a decision to invest in a new, more robust tech system than I was currently using. I chatted online, sent emails, searched for reviews…all to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake. And then I still sat on it. I wanted a guarantee that it was the right decision.

As I thought about it, something occurred to me. Sometimes people who consider hiring me say they want a guarantee that they will get results. But I cannot give them that guarantee. I can show them how to change their mindset to stop self-sabotage. I can help them to discover ways to reach their ideal weight. I can help with many things.

But I cannot guarantee they will be committed and follow through. I cannot guarantee they do not have a medical issue that will impact their results (although this is less common than people think it is). Only they can guarantee their own results.

Sometimes the question is really, “Do I trust myself to follow through?” Other times it’s, “Is this really the right direction for me?” No matter the question, we never have a guarantee that we won’t fail. But when we make a decision out of fear of failure, we guarantee that we’ll just keep getting what we currently have. And that can sometimes mean things are getting worse.

Sometimes we’ve made decisions in the past that didn’t pan out. I recall several of those myself! My goal is to learn from them, using those experiences to make better decisions in the future. But I will not label those failures and allow them to paralyze me.

Are you waiting for a guarantee? Stop. Instead, explore the risk of moving forward. And then explore the risk of keeping with the status quo. Ask what you need in order to trust yourself and decide to make a decision that moves you more in the direction of what you really want. When you do move forward it will not be with a guarantee, but with knowing the risk was worth it.



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