Tuesday, August 7, 2012

what do you say to taking chances?

There's an episode in season two of Gilmore Girls where Rory skips school and jumps on a bus from Hartford to New York City. She goes to see Jess and her return bus ends up leaving the city late and she misses her mother's graduation ceremony. "Note to self: impulsive definitely doesn't work for me," Rory says after crying at her mother about how horrible she is when she finally does get home.

Every time I'm presented with a "this way or that way" choice, I have a tendency to overthink the outcome rather than trust my gut instinct. Perhaps it's because I'm a pushover that I'll go out with people when I really don't feel up to it, or perhaps I'm just nervous to disappoint others. Sometimes I'll feel compelled to do something or go somewhere, but then hold back for various reasons (from "But I don't know anyone and it would be weird" to "What if I have a terrible time?")

After waffling and wallowing over a recent moment like this, Elyse said to me, "Well, you know what you want to do."

When you extend that metaphor wider, it just makes sense that overthinking ruins so much of our potential. Elyse is right: I do know what I want, and yet the stars don't always line up to work in my favor. In that case, flexibility is just as important as being impulsive.

And because life is so damn unpredictable, the most important thing we can do is be honest, be sincere. If we are confident in who we are, then there is little possibility that the risks we take can destroy us. If we are confident in who we are, then we can take chances and not be afraid to learn from our mistakes.

It's almost too simple of a realization, right? Stop thinking and, with all of the sincerity you have inside of you, just...do. 

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