Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:
1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.
2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.
3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.
I am an extremely lazy person. The thing is I don't even mind being lazy, I'm to lazy to mind my own laziness. But yes it can hold me back in some ways I'm sure. I could be so much more than I am now. I could study, do a job where I don't have to clean people's houses all day. There's nothing wrong with that, certainly not, but because of my laziness I could be more than I am today.
Even my youngest son has this problem. He's finishing his cooking education this year and doesn't want to continue in it, so he needs a new one. But he really doesn't know which one. He is too lazy to look online at websites for information but he is also too lazy to visit schools info-days. He is so uncertain about what he wants. Choosing something you want on a whim isn't good either so I suggested he'll work for a year and meanhwile figure out what he wants, it worked out fine for my oldest son. But no lazying around!
I think the fear of the unknown is something of an issue as well.