I have often written about overcoming fear and doubt to follow a direction that you feel driven to take. However, sometimes we aren’t sure which path we should take.
At times, we may find ourselves with more than one possibility ahead of us, but then we sit in place, unable to decide in which direction we should proceed. Other times, we have one path we see before us, but we are still not sure if this is the right one, or if we haven’t yet uncovered our true calling or purpose.
This can lead to inaction, where we take no actions at all. Of course, inaction is still an action, albeit often an unproductive one. However, taking a wrong path can also lead us somewhere we really don’t want to be, which can be worse than not doing anything.
The simple fact is, we don’t know what tomorrow brings. Even doing nothing doesn’t shield us from change. The safe status quo could be maintained indefinitely, or we could lose our job tomorrow. Or that amazing novel we were planning to write suddenly appears as a headliner on Netflix.
So how do we make a decision about what we should or shouldn’t do?
The real answer is about commitment. Are you committed to following the path that you see before you? What happens if you are successful? What if you aren’t? Can you live with the outcome either way? As French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, said, “Commitment is an act, not a word.”
It’s also okay to answer “no, I don’t believe that this is the right path for me.” Examine closely your reasons for this conclusion; fear of failure or success is simply fear. If, in your heart, you recognize that this truly isn’t right for you, then don’t hold on to the “what ifs”; put it to one side, and allow yourself to search for what IS right rather than dwell on what is not.
If you feel that your path is something that you can commit to fully, to the consequences of achieving your goal, then it seems that you already know your answer. Even with more than one possible option, there will always be one that resonates with us.
Do not be afraid to commit to your path, but also do not consider it failure you recognise if you need to change direction.
“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” – Guy Gavriel Kay