Don’t Look Back, You’re Not Going That Way


Are you a second guesser? Do you make a decision and then question it over and over until you make yourself literally sick? I learned not to drive myself crazy that way very early on. But that’s not to say I still don’t slip into that old analysis paralysis of questioning myself – especially now as I move my home base across the country.

My training as a writer and editor valued decisiveness. I was directed from my first key role as a weekly fashion and beauty columnist at the Vancouver Sun that there was no time to write a piece, re-write it, tinker with it, write ten more drafts, scrap it and write some more. I learned quickly to focus and make sure a topic was strong before diving in. Later on, “pick it and be it” was an excellent piece of advice that a veteran publisher at Rogers gave me. She could see that I was listening to too many other people about what Flare should look like. Craft a strong vision and then make sure that every decision meets it, she told me. Don’t listen to anyone else when your instinct is strong. It’s so easy to get pulled off track when others are whispering in your ear – and behind your back – that you’re wrong. Surround yourself with a team who will support (and fight if necessary) for that vision.

I have learned to follow the same motto in my personal life. If you second guess every step you take, you’ll turn into a quivering mess. Here are a couple of examples that have worked for me lately:

Surround Yourself with Good Vibes – Basic maybe, but a handful of strategically aimed toxic barbs can kill your confidence. I talked to a lot of people about my desire to spend part of my time in Vancouver. My loved ones asked a lot of hard questions but their chorus of “you’ve got this!” was heartfelt. My partner shoved aside all of his punishing deadlines to fly across the country during the worst possible week for his business to help me get settled. And then the poor guy had to listen to me whine about some of my decisions!

Have a Plan – Know what your immediate, short term and long term goals are. I’ve made lists, set up meetings, and mapped out where I’d like to be after the first six months. A short term goal may only be a week but it’s critical to stay focused.

Stay on Course – “Wait six months” was one piece of advice I rejected. I had left my job and sold my condo. If I had waited six months (or even one month) before hitting GO on my plan, I likely wouldn’t have started. And that would have been so deeply disappointing.

One Day at a Time – I’m sitting here in Vancouver staring out the window at the rain pelting English Bay. The important thing now is for me to stick to my plan but take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. I know myself well enough to realize that if I continue to run the wild pace of change from these past two months, I will make some serious mistakes. I almost bought a townhouse last night that I would have regretted. I second guessed myself on its purchase all week when my instinct was telling me to walk away. As amazing as the place was, it didn’t check off some of my most important needs – including decent storage for all of my clothes. (Guilty as charged!) I would have screwed up the biggest decision of my life right now.

So I’m taking a deep breath and getting on track because I know that there’s no point in looking back.