We suffer more when we think something bad might happen than we do when we know something bad will happen.
When we know something bad will happen, we adjust. We change our perspective. It hurts at first, but then the new reality becomes a baseline, and our daily attitudes and moods fluctuate around that new baseline.
When we think something bad might happen, we worry. And worry causes us to stay under whatever our baseline is. It drags us down, and it keeps us down.
As a result, I would rather make the wrong decision than sit around worrying. I learned this early on in business. When I first started my own business, I must have tried dozens of marketing strategies aimed at bringing in clients. Nearly all of them failed.
I even tried cold-calling, believe it or not. I would call business after business, offering them my services as a financial consultant. I called thousands of businesses. I did not get a single client. And I’m glad I did it.
Why? Because I faced those fears of engaging with complete strangers. Once I got over those fears, other fears seemed easy by comparison. I proved to myself that I could discipline myself in specific ways. The way I made those calls is I started by calling one business. The next day, I called two. The next day, three. I did that until I was calling fifty businesses per day.
I didn’t get any clients. But I learned a fascinating technique to overcome fear, procrastination and laziness. And, I got information. I learned just a little bit more about what works and what doesn’t. Even from within the reality that I didn’t make a dime of revenue, some calls went better than others. This taught me quite a lot about how to deal with people generally. In other words:
Even abject failure is better than worrying or fantasizing.
You know how sometimes your computer won’t shut down, and it tells you something like, “such-and-such a file won’t close.” And you’re looking at your computer and you’re like, “I just told you to shut down. Just close the damned file!”
Worrying is like that. It’s the file that won’t close. And it prevents you from getting proper sleep, it wastes your emotional energy, and it degrades your decision-making.
What’s the cure for worry? Close the file. Shut it down.
Make a decision.
“But what if I make the wrong decision?”
If you make the wrong decision, then shut your ego down and reverse course. Make a different decision. It eventually became clear to me that cold calling was a waste of time. So I tried other things. After enough failures, those other attempts turned into the Spend Smart Live Rich website. If I had simply tried to “worry” my way to success, I’d have gotten nowhere.
Even the wrong decision is better than worrying.