The human mind can predict and estimate but it’s often inaccurate whenever it tries. Hence our proven inability to successfully forecast the future. The same inability shows itself on a task as simple as fitting into a tight parking spot. I may be professing a lack of masculinity, but when a parking space looks marginally tight I often find myself unable to visually judge whether I can slot my car into it or not.
I only truly know if I can fit the car in when I slowly inch it into the empty bay. I’m then able to see exactly how close my door mirrors are to the adjacent car as I creep forward. Maybe it’s because cars are not as boxy as before (making their extremities hard to determine), their ever-growing dimensions or my low parking acumen, but for me this highlights just how limited our perception can be.
As simple as it may be, the act of slotting into a tight parking bay is uncannily similar to other endeavors. You only know whether you can do something - open a business, write and sell a book, play a sport - when you go to the coalface and try it. Often you don't even know your own abilities until you give them a stage to perform on. You can't see and anticipate everything by trying to visualize it in your mind. Everything - the obstacles you will face, the opportunities available, your strengths, your deficiencies - is laid bare when you act. Then you know for sure. Until then you're just guessing, more often than not doing a poor job of it.
If I can't fit into a parking bay, I back out and look for another one. Another driver may smirk or even chuckle at my lack of judgement, but I will never see that person again and their opinion, however correct, doesn't matter. Whatever you fail at - fitting into a parking, passing an examination or taking a new product to the masses - know that you'll still be alive afterward and that another opportunity will always be waiting. The cost of a failed attempt isn't as high as most feel it is.