Picking the Right Moment
Most, if not all of us, have agonised over decisions for far longer than is healthy at one time or another. The difficulty of leading a life of second-guessing and false starts is that it becomes hard if not impossible to move forward with any kind of momentum and confidence, against a backdrop of uncertainty. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to break the cycle. When something becomes habitual it becomes part of the structure of your life. This is a simple fact, and part of why addicts find it so difficult to kick the habit. They may want to consign their dependence to the past, and have long ago stopped feeling the benefit of the substance to which they were addicted, but leaving it behind means changing the structure of their lives – and that is difficult.
All of us have a certain structure to our lives. Even if the structure seems chaotic, there is generally an element of routine in it, even if that routine does not extend very far beyond getting out of bed every day. Moving away from the habits which are holding you back means making a change to that structure. Perhaps a good analogy for this would be that you are standing in a burning building. To escape you need to climb down a ladder. In the burning building, you have the temporary advantage of solid ground, but sooner or later standing there is going to cause you problems. That ladder may be unfamiliar and even a little bit unsteady, but by climbing down it you are going to improve your future prospects.
There is no shortage of people who will hesitate before stepping on to the ladder – metaphorically or literally – because there is something there to be afraid of. It doesn’t feel all that safe, and the fear of the unknown is something which affects all of us at one time or another. Making a change requires determination. It is a case of looking at the problems which stand behind and around you and seeing a way that you can say goodbye to them. They may be old and familiar problems, and stepping on to the ladder may well hold problems of its own later on, but getting on the ladder is the thing. You are putting behind you something which is definitely causing you problems, and giving yourself a chance of directly improving your situation. Future problems are to be worried about in the future.
If you are having difficulty making a necessary change because your current problems at least have the advantage of being familiar, it just takes one decisive action to consign the problems of the present to the past. It requires bravery and determination, and it will ask a lot of you, but it is better to simply make that decisive action and free yourself. Once it is done you will immediately begin to relax, and then you are in the position of being able to dictate where you go next. Rather than letting your life burn down, you can build it so as to resist future fires.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on August 30, 2009.
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