Caroline Gerdes
May 02, 2015 8:15 am

Most of my talks with girlfriends revolve around the choices we are making with careers, love and families. And so often I hear women say they are afraid of making the “wrong choice.”

Why do we put this fear in ourselves that opening ourselves up to a new experience or choosing to forgo one has to be “right or wrong?” Maybe, you do leave your job? Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you get engaged? Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you move to Paris? And, maybe you don’t.

Choices are stressful, but unless you hurt someone else, can one really be “wrong?” You can still find happiness on the other side of any personal decision.

My grandmother used to say, “When you are young, there is nothing you can do that you can’t undo.”

While some decisions are permanent, like having a baby or getting a tattoo, this wisdom still brings me a lot of comfort. When you are young, there is no decision that you can’t survive and learn from.

I have made some not-great decisions — which comes with the territory of being a person. But, I got up, worked hard and got it together again, which was an extremely valuable lesson in navigating life after things don’t go as planned.

I would never say my not-so-great decisions were wrong. It’s just ugly to put that connotation on choices I made and learned from. In fact, I think we learn the most in life’s detours. These bumps in the road also give us gratitude when plans do come to fruition.

With so many changes in life that you have no control over, it is important to remember that regardless of the choice you make, the plan can, and will, change. So when you reach a fork in the road, take solace that you won’t be wrong. And don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go how you thought they would. Decisions are hard, but life is long.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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