No one gets everything right the first time round.
At the very least, most people don’t. And the ones who do tend to end up with an unrealistic view of the world.
Making the wrong decision – sometimes, making the outright worst decision possible, making truly awful decisions that, in hindsight, make no sense at all – is something that we all do beneath the pressure of the moment.
When, no matter how much you’ve contemplated and planned, you really don’t know what is going to work out for the best – but you know a decision has to be made and made quickly. Those really aren’t ideal conditions for serious decision-making. But they are the ones under which most people make decisions.
Because no matter how long you think and strategise and hypothesize and try to figure out all the potential outcomes of your choice, there’s never really enough time to be certain. No one can see into the future and there’s always room for something entirely unexpected to come out of nowhere and mess everything up.
Sometimes, no matter how well you estimate, your decision will be wrong.
Sometimes, your decision will be inherently wrong and you got it wrong all by yourself.
Either way, you get the same result. Things don’t go the way you want them to. You have to start all over again. Maybe you’ll be able to salvage some of your progress, but you’ll still be knocked back a fair way.
It’s easy to come to hate those decisions you got wrong. It’s easy to blame yourself for all the difficulties that come afterward.
But you shouldn’t.
There is no point in moping about the things that went wrong if you’re not going to do anything to fix them. It won’t make a difference if you don’t use the things you’re dwelling on to at least learn how to move forward from where you are now.
Think of things you’ve learned from this.
At least now you know that this was the incorrect decision. If you’d gone in a different direction, for all you know, you might be in basically the same place, stunted, wondering what went wrong, wishing you’d chosen this route instead. You have no way of knowing.
All you can know is your circumstances now. So use them.
Find a way to turn them to your advantage, because you don’t have the option of going back and making the decision again.
You might need to tweak your original plan somewhat if it really did get all that bad, but you can still forge onwards if you take some time to think things properly through.
Eventually, you’ll get to somewhere you feel comfortable. It might not be where you were heading the first time round. It might be exactly where you wanted to be. But you can’t go on being miserable forever. Sooner or later, you’ll realise that you’re actually okay with the life you have.
And that life will be all down to this one bad decision, that one old, old mistake that now you can barely even remember.
You’re not there yet and the mistake still feels fresh. But that won’t last forever.
There is so much more you can learn from something that goes wrong than anything that goes exactly according to plan. You are human and humans make mistakes and the most interesting humans are the ones who have made huge mistakes and persevered anyway.
So carry on. Keep going.
One day, you’ll find somewhere you like being and when you get there, you’ll have an amazing story to tell.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.