An excerpt from Perception: Seeing Is Not Believing
What if we told you that you have never made a bad decision? Would that sound strange to you? Would you believe us? What if we said you were fully justified in all your actions and behaviors because you were always doing your best, even when you often did and thought things that were against your own and others’ best interests? Yes, you often fall short of your potential, but we still say you have never made a bad decision.
What if we also told you that nothing that has ever happened to you is your fault, but also told you that your outcomes are 100 percent your responsibility? What if we told you that not only have you never made a bad decision, but you’re not actually capable of making bad decisions unless you’re a sociopath or mentally ill?
Consider this: If it is true that you have never made a bad decision, what would this mean to you and your life?
We often look back and second-guess or beat ourselves up for opportunities we missed, decisions we botched, and times we quit or fell short. The voice in your head may be saying, “How could I be so stupid?” Or, “Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over?” It’s time to stop beating yourself up, because in reality you’re just doing the best you can.
You are probably saying to yourself, “Okay, this sounds great, but it’s hard to believe because I feel like I have made bad decisions.” We will let you off the hook and explain. If your life has not gone the way you wanted or expected, it was because you made decisions using bad information. You might be wondering, “Okay, what is the difference? It seems like it’s only semantics.” Actually, it’s a big difference, and understanding the difference can set you free.
If your life is not what you want it to be, it’s not because you have done anything wrong, it’s because you made the only decisions you could with the information you had available to you at the time. You have probably never started a decision-making process by saying, “I think I will do something today that is not in my best interest.” To be clear, always doing the best you can on any given day is not the same as living up to your potential.
We all make decisions the same way. Our minds look at all the available information and draw conclusions about the best path forward. We never intentionally set out to make decisions that will harm us. In that moment when we make a decision, we believe it is in our best interest, even if it doesn’t turn out that way.
This is why it’s so important to understand the difference. While you may have blamed yourself in the past whenever things went wrong, the problem was never you. The problem was the information you used to define your life and make your decisions. That means there is nothing wrong with you!
Everyone has problems, just like you. Some people are just too scared to talk about them. We are happy to reassure you that life does not have to continue to be a fight or a struggle. There is hope, even in the darkest of times. We also need you to understand that you are good enough and smart enough today, just the way you are.
Believe it or not, you currently have everything you need to be successful and to feel truly happy and fulfilled. It’s time to stop beating yourself up.