The Fear of “No Turning Back” – What Stops Us from Taking Action

Permanent can be scary.

What if we make the wrong decisions? There are some things in life that indeed cannot be erased or modified – once you’ve chosen it, the decision is final. But how often does that happen?

In truth, not all that much. It’s more typical that we perceive things as permanent, even when we could decide to change course and go in another direction. College choice, career paths, jobs, projects, major purchases, and even relationships are not permanent.

Yet the perception of these kinds of things as being decisions with permanent consequences keeps people from acting.

When I decided to move, I made a LOT of big decisions at one time. I left my jobs that I worked at for 9 years. I left the apartment I’d lived in for 8 years. I left my community to live in one where I didn’t know anyone. I bought a house.

It was evident that people were scared for me.

“Do you know anyone there?”

“Can you make a living doing that?”

“What will you do there?”

“Won’t you be lonely?”

I received quite a dose of projected fear from others. I wasn’t scared, though, because I knew my choices didn’t have to be permanent. If I didn’t succeed with my business, I could get a job doing something else. If I didn’t like living there, I could move.

Yes, making decisions and then changing directions can come with some inconveniences. If you sign a lease, you are committed to a certain number of months before you can move. If you go to school, you should probably finish out the semester so you get credit for those courses and can potentially transfer them. If you choose a major and you change your mind, you may have to stay in school longer. If you choose a different career path, you may have to go back to school. If you buy something and decide you don’t like it and can’t return it, you may have to go through the process of selling it.

But are these inconveniences such a big deal? They sure seem like it, but really they’re just moments in time. There’s no reason for these things to stop us from moving forward.

If you find yourself in a state of non-action due to fear of making the wrong decision, ask yourself if the decision is really permanent. What are the alternatives if you decide you don’t like your choice?

There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling like you made a mistake. We all make mistakes.

Now, I didn’t say that going in another direction would be easy. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, particularly if there are other people involved.

But ultimately, you only have one life, and it’s far too short for you to remain in circumstances that keep you from living as you truly wish to. Your life is only limited if you choose for it to be so.

If you’re rolling your eyes at that, I understand. It just means you haven’t gotten to the point where you realize that you get to choose. You don’t have to let life happen to you – you have a voice in how you choose to live.

Making choices, especially when it requires change or voyaging into the unknown, takes courage. But what do you gain by not making decisions and trying things out? Usually that only allows for the convenience and comfort of staying where you’re at.

It’s interesting how people will choose the security of a situation, even if they don’t like it, over going through the process of change.

That’s usually due to fear of the unknown, or being wrong, or the energy it would take to make change happen.

But it you don’t like your current state of living, what do you have to lose?

Unknown can’t be known until you experience it. If you’re wrong, try again.

Some things are permanent. Most things are not. If you’ve given something a chance and you’re not happy, you can make a change. You just have to have the courage to take action toward whatever moves you in the direction of what you truly want.

And if you feel like you’re too scared to make a decision and take action today, try again tomorrow. Your happiness is worth it.

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