When to Take it Easy

When you are in doubt, do you press ahead or do you hang back? When you are unsure, do you take action anyway or do you rerun the pros and cons in your mind? When you are mired in uncertainty, do you work your way out or do you allow uncertainty to pass until you move ahead?

For most of my life I was a doer. That meant that I never let fear or uncertainty hold me back. I charged ahead even if my intentions were unclear and the path uncertain. I did this as a way to get out of uncertainty faster because if you take action and hit a dead end, you know—for certain—that you took a wrong turn. Which allows you to double back and take a new path.

With the grace of aging, I have acquired some wisdom and hard-earned lessons and here is what I know: Taking action in fear and uncertainty is a total waste of good energy.

When I am in fear, the easiest path forward is to deal with my fears and start a practice of new ideas. It’s easy, it’s free, and it always works to talk me off the ledge. So that I can move forward with clarity.

When I am uncertain, the easiest path I have found is the one I call Do Nothing until I find my certainty. And once that certainty arrives, watch out. Because me plus certainty is a duo that performs at the level of super productivity. Which is where I like to fly.

Uncertainty is simply the time period between your initial idea and your knowing of the next step. It’s not a sign of failure and it’s not a problem to be dealt with. It’s a time period to pass through. You could pass the time by taking massive action and seeing what sticks. Or you could go work on something else that inspires you until the certainty arrives.

I prefer the latter.

If I am unsure whether to take action I now tell myself: Action will come naturally once you are ready. If I am uncertain and there are multiple paths to choose from, I always choose the one that seems the easiest or the most exciting to me. And if I am confused and feel overwhelmed with choices, I always take a step back and seek clarity as to my intent before I proceed.

Fear and uncertainty are not negative life states. They are simply life states that offer you information that you can deal with if you choose. If you choose to take action in fear and uncertainty you tend to attract more fear and uncertainty. I prefer instead to use fear and uncertainty to help me see my limiting beliefs so that I can deal with them before I take action.

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