It's Just a Potato
I may have already told this story, but it came up today on a call and I realized how valuable this lesson was for me so I am telling it again!
When I was a little kid, maybe five or six, my mom was letting me help cook dinner by teaching me how to peel potatoes (incidentally also the only thing I know about cooking!). I had a potato in one hand and the peeler in the other, hacking away trying to make it look smooth and easy like my mom always did.
I kept stopping and asking, "Is this okay?" "Does this look right?" Seeking validation that my efforts were correct. I was a chatterbox, I never shut up. My mom finally said, "It's a potato. Do your best. If you screw this up we'll get another and start again."
An empowering lesson that I believe has helped me to this day.
I assure you, you can call my boss and ask, he never hears from me. I don't feel the need to ask permission for everything I do. I make decisions every day, quite comfortable that I have the skill to do so but if I screw it up, I will just try again. I don't need him to constantly validate that I am good enough to do my job. He trusts me and keeps me on his team because I am good enough. Just like my mom knew I was capable of peeling that potato.
People often get stuck in life, spinning their wheels because they don't feel empowered to make decisions. And that's easy, since everyone is a damn critic so there's always some comment coming from the peanut gallery. But unless you're about to perform something like brain surgery, not very much is more delicate than that potato. Do your best, learn from your mistakes, start again.
Life is SHORT. Make decisions, live your best damn life, and maybe the result isn't pretty every time but indecision and stalling and constantly needing someone to validate what you're doing wastes a whole bunch of time in your life you can never get back. You can ask forgiveness and you can try again, but you can never get back time you wasted on inaction.