When you face difficulty in making a decision, many times, it is less about the clarity on what you want than it is about the fear of something. In fact, not having clarity is a disguise for fear.
I was once working with an engineer who wanted to start his own company. He said he wanted to get clarity on whether to stay in the current job or start a new business. He has financial resources, clarity on his business plan, and also motivation to do so.
When I asked him, “what choice would you make if he cannot fail.” He quickly answered with a big smile, “starting my own company.” So I asked him what’s coming in the way of starting his own company, and he answered that he felt leaving the job was his major concern. He was worried that he would run out of his savings soon. When we analyzed his finances, we concluded that he had more than what he thought he needs to quit his job. At this time, you would think that he will be able to make his decision to quit his job. However, he brought up new things that he was concerned about.
He said he had to move to a new town to start his company. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to move to the new town. When we addressed his fear of uncertainty in moving to the new town, he brought a different concern. He said he wasn’t sure about his business plan. It didn’t stop with the business plan as he kept giving more reasons as to why he can’t quit the job.
As you can see, if you hold on to your job because of the status it provides or the income it brings or the hard work you have put in it, you are more likely to make decisions you don’t want rather than make decisions that you do want. In this case, the engineer might decide to stick to his job, a decision that he doesn’t want instead of fearlessly going after what he truly wants.
Fear is a fabricated story that we tell ourselves, which prevents pain and also prevent new possibilities. As an example, fear might be telling you that you don’t have money, so you can protect yourself, but it will also prevent the possibility of starting a new business. If you have a fear of uncertainty, you might be giving yourself reasons not to quit your job. When you make a decision from a place of fear, you invite more fear. When you make decisions from a place of negative emotions, you will invite more negative emotions. You will keep choosing things you don’t want, which makes things worse or, at best, doesn’t improve your situation for the better.
New possibilities happen when you choose something outside of your fears. Clarity is found outside of your fears. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos had prosperous careers before they ventured on their own to start $$$$ companies. They stepped out of their fear of uncertainty to start something meaningful to them. They both felt that they would have accepted the outcome if they tried hard and failed rather than never trying. Most of us never try, and our dreams follow us to the grave.
If you want to start a new business but the fear of losing money stops you, choose to start the business. If you want to change careers, but the fear of uncertainty stops you, choose to change your career. Life throws a few opportunities to choose possibilities over fear. Grab every opportunity you get to face your fears and if you fail, so be it. Fail spectacularly.