I constantly read & hear along the lines of,” that one must make mistakes in order to learn” or that “the biggest mistake is to be afraid of making mistakes”
now in my life I feel stuck many times because to go forward I would have to hurt someone’s feelings or do something unethical or illegal-so I end up doing nothing. People I know who have crossed those boundaries seem quite content with their decisions- Do I stay stuck or do I pursue a mistake ?
Dear Stuck in Davie,
There are two things at play here. One is that you are looking at others as a gauge for what is ethical and moral; the other is that you are stuck in your life.
The two are intimately connected. If your focus is on what others are doing then that takes the focus away from you. What they do, whether illegal or unethical is their life. And if it makes them content, then again it is their life. You may be trying to find the justice or make sense of it, but you cannot. What is more important is that you start looking at your life and try to make sense of that. This is a much harder task since it requires a lot more risk. Taking charge of your life is scary, it requires you to step out of your box into the unknown and do things even if you don’t know the result, even if you are not sure how it will be received.
When deciding what your next step should be it is important to check in with yourself and not decide it based on what made others successful. Once you have done this if what you feel is next may hurt someone inadvertently, that is ok since sometimes moving on means letting go of others and taking a stand. You are your own guide, if you really look at your intention and come from an authentic place, then moving forward in life is positive.
When you move forward your thoughts should be optimistic. If it happens to be a mistake, then you take that experience and learn from it. However, when making a move, the intention is to have that move enhance your life and help you.
Make sure your move is coming from the right place; you are not intentionally hurting someone, or doing something intentionally illegal. Then you will be able to face whomever you need to and explain your actions no matter how uncomfortable you may feel.
Look inside for what is next; don’t wait till you figure out this world before you make a move.
Please be advised that the advice written in this column is not a substitution for psychotherapy.