“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” -Billy Wilder
A few months ago, when I was creating my book marketing plan, an associate advised me to allocate resources to something that I felt certain was not a smart idea. He offered a detailed explanation for why I should do it, but I felt strongly that it wasn’t necessary.
I eventually did as he recommended because he was adamant that I should. Essentially, I decided his instincts were smarter than mine—even though this was new territory for both of us—and simply followed his instructions.
Sure enough, this investment yielded practically no return, and at first, I felt angry toward him. Why was he so persuasive, I wondered, and why didn’t he offer me additional guidance so that it didn’t end up being a complete waste of money?
I realized then that I was trying to hold him responsible, when the reality is that I am the only person with the power to follow my instincts and make my choices.
There are always going to be people who think they know what’s best for us—and many times, they will be well-intentioned.
There will be family members who think they know which career paths we should pursue. There will be friends who think they know when we should walk away from our relationships. It always seems so clear from the outside, but the reality is no one knows what the future holds and where our choices will lead us—including us.
No one can know that walking away from one job will ultimately lead to something better. No one can know that ending a relationship will prove wiser than spending time trying to work things out. And no one can change that there is an element of risk in every decision.
We can either take our risks based on other people’s instincts; or we can take responsibility for out path into uncertainty.
We can only ever know what feels right for us in a moment—not whether or not it’s the right or wrong choice to create our desired outcome. This means we need to dare to own our decisions.
We can best navigate twists and turns when we’re fully in the driver’s seat—but in order to do that, we need we have the strength and courage to steer.
Photo by sharrattsam