Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Is it sometimes better NOT to take action?

Anyone who's read self-help articles by the bucket load, as I have, will most likely have come across articles along the lines of:
'Take action to achieve your dreams'
'The only way to conquer your fear is through massive action'
'Knowledge without action is futile'

Whilst I totally get this, and wouldn't argue otherwise that action is necessary to achieve your dreams and conquer your fears .. I still believe that, sometimes, it's better to not do something, simply because the risks are too great. If you have deep layers of hurt, sometimes it's best not to try and plunge into a relationship or tell someone how you feel - because it's actually probably more likely than not that you will get rejected if you have unhealed pain. It's not the rejection that's the issue, and to be rejected romantically can be a positive springboard if you allow it to be - but, I know for myself, that for a long time I felt so much pain over even the prospect of romantic rejection, that I just couldn't get past my fears, no matter how good my intentions were.

It is, though, preferable if you are in a place where you do feel safe to go out and risk rejection or failure. But it's important to know your own selves. Sometimes you just have to build yourself up until you feel you can take some action. And this can take time.

It's important to be careful before making certain decisions. I know I have made some rash decisions in the past, which could have got me into big trouble. Some risks are just not worth taking. I had the opportunity to join a network marketing organisation - which could have worked out, but the chance of it working wasn't that great, plus the risk of parting with quite a bit of cash, meant it just wasn't worth it, as I could have been pushed over the edge if I'd got into real financial trouble. Sometimes, opportunities that might look great on paper, come with a warning sign that you'd do well to heed.

Susan Jeffers' well known book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, is great. But I do think that it's not worth beating yourself up if you can't yet 'do it anyway'. For some people, the trials of life and childhood experiences can leave a gaping wound and a closed and fragile heart, which takes time to open again.

If you want to take action but feel like you just CAN'T, the best thing to do is accept how you feel right now, and resolve to open your heart, whatever it takes. Then you trust life to bring the right circumstances and people, and you also trust yourself to grow and trust that things will change.

Over time, you will find, bit by bit, that you are able to face your fears. That doesn't mean that you will be able to face them overnight. We all have to work at our own pace, and for some, that pace seems slower than most, which can be frustrating.

Mostly, if not always, the blockages that prevent us from moving forward are due to pain that has been suppressed rather than expressed. The best way to face emotional stuff, as I've mentioned before, is to allow it rather than resist it, and express how you feel. Adyashanti talks about allowing the emotion to speak, without attaching a story to it. It's important to be honest about how you are hurting, about how you might feel a loser - and accept how you feel. This transcends pain quicker than any other way I know.

It's not good to live in a permanent state of fear, feeling paralysed to take steps that you know could bring rewards. Allow life to flow and bring you opportunities, and take these opportunities when you can. They may not work out how you'd like, but you will grow as you face your fears.

What do you think?


  1. I used to jump right in and DO something. I've found that sometimes waiting and thinking things over, saves me a lot of time and energy. So many times, if I wait long enough, no action is necessary and I also don't make as may mistakes if I give the item in question more thought.Just stopping by from the AtoZ Road Trip. I'm looking for interesting blogs to add to my list for visits! Loved your post.

  2. Meant to tell you you'll be mentioned in my post on 8/26. Here's the permalink that goes like that morning.;postID=6946864087400602580;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=34;src=link

  3. Interesting post and advise. Dropping in from A to Z

  4. I agree, it sometimes better to have a machine doing that.
    I did the same, I took on the electronic data room and got nothing to warry about.


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