Regular blog on the concepts of focus and self mastery, published every Tuesday.
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We all feel this sometimes. We have a choice we need to make or something we want to do and we hesitate – it causes us to question what we’re doing. it makes us take an extra step or two. Sometimes it even makes us stop completely.

What is hesitation and why do we feel it?

Sometimes hesitation is the Universe’s way of saying “are you sure?”. Sometimes hesitation is a reflection of your own doubt of yourself or the situation. Sometimes hesitation offers a necessary extra step that allows you to get completely clear on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

The problem with hesitation for most people is that they take it as a sign to stop. It makes them back up or run away from the choice. They perceive it to be a problem instead of something they can actually work through.

When you find yourself hesitating, what do you do?

First, get clear on what the hesitation is. What’s made you stumble? What’s got you questioning the choice? Without this level of clarity you won’t get by the hesitation. This is the place where we inject the logical brain into the process because that’s how we’re going to work through this.

Hesitation is usually the result of some kind of a fear that’s been triggered within you. What are you afraid of? Again, the logical brain will tell you what the problem is. It’s very good at that!

Once you understand what the problem is, it offers you a secondary but very necessary choice. Am I willing to accept the risk that I perceive in what I’m doing?

Anytime we take a leap, do a thing, make a choice, there is always a sense of risk behind that because what we’re doing may not work out. It may not go as planned. That offers risk every single time, no matter what the choice is.

To get anywhere in life we have to accept the risk. If you don’t you stay in the problem. It makes you defend the problem and the pain that comes with the problem. You keep looking for a risk-free option but that doesn’t exist. So instead you just stay stuck in the pain because the pain is known and that makes it easier to deal with – for a while.

If you stay stuck there long enough eventually that pain is going to bury you alive. If you’re going to heal, it’ll be at that point of crisis that makes you choose between being buried in the pain or accepting the risk of healing. That’s the critical point that many of us seem to reach. I certainly did.

Hesitation and fear are things that drive us to that point in the first place. The known pain is often easier for a long time. It’s only when the pain builds up to a critical mass that we finally do anything about it. Where that point is will be different for everybody.

So, back to hesitation. Hesitation keeps you stuck in the pain. It makes you stay there for a while. When the pain is only ankle deep, it’s not so bad. But when the pain is suddenly neck deep, it offers you a different perspective. It makes you think again. Am I willing to risk the choice?

The truth is you don’t have to hesitate. You can feel the hesitation or the fear and do it anyway. You just have to be self-aware enough to see that the hesitation is there to begin with. The first step is acknowledging its existence. The second step is making the choice about what to do next.

If you start telling stories about the hesitation and why it’s there, it’ll probably keep you stuck. The stories are the ideas you come up with as to why you can’t make the choice or do the thing. These are all the excuses and reasons why not. There are a million of them!

If you don’t tell the stories and you keep your mind from filling in the unknown future with a bunch of fear and anxiety, you can move freely. You can make the choice you want to make and do the thing, without worrying about it.

I was in this place just before I started writing this blog. I came back to a semi-familiar spot where I had to make the choice to accept the risk of going after my dreams or give into the risk and go do something else.

My fear of the risk trapped me for a minute. I needed to work through it and understand that the risk was just going to be there. I couldn’t change that. It wasn’t anything I had control over. If I gave into the risk, I was just defending the problem. It wasn’t solving anything.

The secondary choice was the choice to be happy as a writer or give into the practical need to conform and be unhappy in my life. I decided to be a rebel. That means that I have to accept the risk.

Did I hesitate? Yeah. It took me a bit to work through it and gain the clarity as to what the choice actually was. Then once I had that it was an easy choice. I just had to get there first.

Every single time I do this kind of stuff for myself, I’m engaging the logical brain. I’m not making emotional choices because in that scenario the emotional choice is based on fear. I don’t want to make a fear-based choice. I want to make the choice to be happy. That means I have to ignore the fear.

Me and fear are buddies. It’s always back there somewhere. I’ve learned to live with there being a constant sense of fear in the background. I also learned that I could sit in the fear, stay there, and not be overwhelmed by it or do anything about it. It’s almost funny to me now because it’s so unnecessary.

If you’re reading this while staring down the fear, just know that it is easier when you’re on the other side of that choice. You will start to see that there is nothing pointy that’s going to hurt you. But you have to stare down the fear a few times to know that. That’s just part of the process. It comes with giving yourself permission to try it and see what happens. If you follow that up by recognizing that you’re okay or understanding that nothing pointy hurt you, it’ll make it easier the next time.

Hesitation is fear poking it’s head out from the shadows. Your job is to acknowledge it so that it doesn’t stop you. There will almost always be an unknown somewhere. There will almost always be a shadow lurking somewhere that we haven’t explored yet. It’s just how life is. If we let that stop us all the time, we literally get stuck in the pain. You never get anywhere. At some point you have to make a choice to do it anyway. By understanding what the hesitancy is, what it means, and how to deal with it, it gives you the tools to move past it so that you don’t have to get stuck.

Next time you feel that hesitation, question it. Figure out why it's there. Once you understand it then you can deal with it logically. You don’t have to get stuck in it. Trust yourself to handle what happens next.

You’ve got this!

Love to all.



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