Below is a noteworthy quote by Debbie Millman, writer, artist, designer and host of the renowned podcast Design Matters, on what she’s learned about making decisions in moments of change.

These comments came in conversation with her friend, and fellow artist and illustrator, Lisa Congdon on the Lisa Congdon Sessions podcast (3/24/22):

“One thing that I’ve really learned, having made many changes over the years, and being nervous about every single one, is that when you’re on the precipice of change, you very rarely think about what you’re going to gain, because you haven’t gained it yet. And so it’s hard to imagine something that hasn’t even manifested.

“You can certainly have a fantasy, but you have no way of knowing that this is going to happen, so it feels just really pie in the sky. ‘Oh, maybe that’ll happen, or maybe that’ll happen.’

“We don’t know how it’s going to happen. It’s hard to rely on that happening. And because we also don’t know what other things might happen that we can’t conjure up, we have no way of being able to see into the future. 

“So what we tend to hold onto when we’re making changes, at least what I did, is make a list of all the things I’m losing. ‘I’m losing power. I’m losing money. I’m losing stature. I’m losing blah, blah, blah.’

And that often will hold a person back from doing something profoundly different, because you don’t want to be in a position where you have less of anything. What we don’t see are the things that are going to happen that we don’t know that we don’t know.”

“And that will happen, I can tell you. For anybody that’s making a big decision, I can tell you the hardest moment of making the decision is before you make the decision.

“Once you make the decision, then it’s out and then all these other opportunities somehow start to trickle in and pop up, and manifest in ways that you could not have imagined otherwise.”

For more creative fuel and fodder, listen to my conversation with Lisa Congdon on the Humanitou podcast.

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash