Fence-Sitting

Do you fence-sit? Wait for someone else to make the first move? Or can’t decide between two or more choices? Or too overwhelmed with everything that’s going on in your life that you simply can’t focus on this right now – so you don’t?

These can all be seen and felt as fence-sitting, and they have one thing in common: fear. I’m not talking about those times where you decide for good reason to take your time deciding – that isn’t fence-sitting. I’m talking about those times when you don’t want to decide – because you don’t want to be the first one deciding, or your head and heart won’t cooperate and you fear making the wrong decision, or your anxiety is way too high over worry about other things not working to decide.

It’s easy to say to yourself “Listen, just do it and stop wasting time!” Demanding that of yourself isn’t going to help before you face that underlying fear.

Try this next time you suspect you’re fence-sitting: sit with what’s going on inside you to see if there’s fear. It can feel differently to different people, but usually there’s increased heart rate, shallower breathing, perhaps a jumpiness. If you find you are afraid, then get curious about what it is. Sometimes that’s all it takes to be able to stop fence-sitting and take action. At other times, you may need extra help. Either way, that helplessness that comes from feeling stuck and not able to act will disappear. Because you’ve taken action and are no longer teetering uncomfortably on that fence.

 

Quote of the Week

We are our choices.
― Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Choices that can change your life – Caroline Myss

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