You Can’t Screw Up

An argument for going after what you want

Eric Teplitz
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
4 min readMar 11, 2023


Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

A friend of mine recently shared that her college-aged daughter is full of angst, even though outwardly she doesn’t show it.

“Not surprising,” was the gist of my reply, recalling my own experiences of that stage of life.

What was surprising to me, however, was my friend’s reply when I asked her the nature, or source, of her daughter’s anxiety.

She told me that her daughter lives in a world of “woulda, shoulda, coulda” — essentially second-guessing all of the decisions she has made and feeling constant discontent about her situation.

“And she’s how old??” I asked.

One would think such regret could only be acquired with the passage of a certain number of years, as one drifts further and further away from the ideals of youth — not while one is still in her youth.

Yet how many of us, regardless of age, ruminate on pointless what ifs and if I had onlys?

My guess is most — or all — of us do, just to varying degrees.

So I humbly offer up a suggestion for countering such unhelpful, and potentially crippling, obsessive thoughts.

It all boils down to a four-word mantra:

“You Can’t Screw Up!”

My friend Max introduced me to this concept years ago, specifically in the context of the early stages of dating.

Let’s say you’ve met someone new.

Someone wonderful.

You really like this wonderful person and you want to make the best possible impression because, let’s face it: this person could be The One.

What do you do???

Do you call her right away, or do you play it cool?

Do you text him more than once before you’ve gotten a reply?

How much interest do you show, and how soon?

How much of your guard do you let down, and when?

The list of potential worries goes on and on.

Here’s where you stop, take a deep breath, and remind yourself: You Can’t Screw Up!



Eric Teplitz
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Life coach devoted to living with passion and authenticity, and helping others do the same: