Have you always wondered why women always say it twice?
And with that worried tone??
Because let’s face it, sisters. Women downright suck at making decisions.
“Did I say the right thing?”
“Did I wear the right thing?”
“Should I have done something different?”
It is an insidious and nearly invisible piece of cultural conditioning that has been handed down, generation to generation, paralyzing a woman’s ability to take her place on the world’s stage as utterly and completely and ravishingly herself.
Women are terrified of making mistakes.
We are terrified of doing something wrong.
We don’t want to offend, ruffle feathers, or risk being criticized.
And this is so deeply ingrained, carved and branded inside a woman’s soul, that she can’t even feel the instantaneous way she pulls herself out of whatever equation she was in.
This morning, I was at the barn, riding my horse, Lacey. Well, she is not my real horse. She is a school horse that belongs to the barn where I ride. But I pretend she is mine. I get to the barn early. I groom her. I take her bridle home and clean it. I bring her carrots. I love every cell of her spirited, sort of misbehaving, high-maintenance attitude. Lacey is magnificent in her certainty. There is no in-between. She either loves you, or hates you. And when she hates you, you know it. She tries to buck you off. She won’t listen. She fights every step of the way. And for the most part, she gets her way. More often than not, she has to be replaced with another, less drastically opinionated horse. But, oddly, Lacey is filled with compassion. When someone truly requires her gentleness, she puts out. My daughter Maggie does not really ride. She is a rank frightened beginner. And Lacey treats her as gently as if she was made of glass.
During my lesson, I was practicing jumping her over some cross rails. I would get up to the jump perfectly, and then, dissolve, handing the controls over to Lacey.
My teacher noticed this, and said, “Regena, you have to make the decisions about where and when to jump. You can’t leave it up to her.”
“But I am afraid of giving her the wrong signal — because I am not sure exactly when I should have her take off — so I let her decide.”
My teacher said, “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. The worst thing you can do is not be in charge. In fact, make lots of mistakes — you are just learning to feel for the right timing. You have to go over hundreds of fences to get this down.”
And as soon as she gave me permission to make mistakes, I was free. And I found that sweet spot to jump her from — every time I came to a new fence.
What a feeling.
I decided to take the hall pass she gave me, to make lots of mistakes, in every corner of my life, this week. And it has cut my decision-making time a thousand fold.
I pretend I am on my thoroughbred Lacey, jumping a brand new fence, and I say yes to some new direction that I have no idea about — with abandon.
There is real raw fun in opinions.
Please give me your responses, feedback and comments on this topic, below.
How do you handle decisions about opportunities you have no experience with?
Do you torture yourself with indecision?
Do you run boldly in some unknown direction?
Do you doubt yourself into extinction?
This week, I offer you a hall pass.
Let yourself make dozens of mistakes, proudly. I bet you will find the sweet spot every time. I look forward to responding to all of your comments!
With so much love and pleasure,