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What if I get it wrong?

Whenever we go through change and we're asked, or forced, or even choose, to do something different, learn something new - whether it's a new skill, a different way of doing something, or just having to do it for a different person who may have different priorities to the ones we're used to, this is the question that overwhelms us: what if I get it wrong?

But what do we mean by that? Do we mean "what will happen if I get it wrong"?
That's the wrong question. The correct question is: "what will I do if I get it wrong?"
Even that can be improved, because the reality we need to think about is: "what WILL we do WHEN we get it wrong?" Because sooner or later, the probability is, that we will. And also, that most often the I will be part of a we.
Let's take a step back though. What will happen? For most of us, most of the time, nothing very much in the grand scheme of things. Interestingly, the people with the highly risky jobs, tend not to be the ones who worry about getting it wrong. They know what will happen, and they know they will have done their very best to make sure it doesn't. It's the rest of us who worry - and mostly we worry about the wrong things: the budget, the report, the new boss, not hitting the target.
Let me ask you this: how many times have you driven a car, ridden a bike or crossed a busy road? Gone hiking, or skiing or diving? Lit a fire or a firework or a stove? Played a contact sport? Gone swimming or sailing? Pushed a child high on a swing, or thrown a toddler in the air? Ever accepted a lift? Or stroked an animal? Walked alone in a strange city, or eaten a new food? Climbed a ladder or wired a plug?
And how many times did you lie awake the night before worrying about what would happen if you got it wrong?
Yet in all of those cases, every single time, if you had got it wrong, there was a very real possibility that someone would get hurt or even die. You or someone else. You don't worry about it, because you've learned how to do it safely, without overthinking it. Just as you will learn how to do whatever is next asked of you, slowly probably, painfully sometimes, but you will learn to the point where you can do it - if not without thinking, certainly without worrying.
The starting point is always to be clear on the consequences. Get them in perspective. Whatever the worst case scenario (and yes be clear on that too) the likelihood of it coming to pass is generally pretty small. Even in those potentially life-threatening situations I've listed, mostly the worst that will happen is a few bruises and dented pride. Otherwise we'd never get out of bed in the morning. We certainly wouldn't leave the house to buy a pint of milk, let alone go on adventures...and I, for one, insist on adventures.
Next: accept it. You will either be VERY lucky or you WILL get it wrong at some point. It doesn't matter how diligent you are, how meticulous, how skilled, sooner or later, unless the fates are on your side you will make a mistake. As Susan Jeffers once put it "even the Buddhas have their days"!
So back to our real question: what will we do when we get it wrong?
Firstly we will fix it, if it can be fixed. Not everything can.
Then we will look at how and why we got it wrong and try to fix that too.
And then we will move on.
To paraphrase an example from the GOALS CD, the answer to "What if I get it wrong?" is this: "you'll either not do it again or learn to do it better."

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