A good friend of mine recently considered applying for an executive position at her marketing firm, a step up the managerial ladder from her job. The position paid a higher salary but would require some late nights, weekend work, and would involve more of the administrative tedium that bored her to death.
She procrastinated completing the application and every time she spoke to me about the job, she was obviously less than enthused.
“If the job requires more time at work and lots of the monotonous work you hate, then why are you applying for it?” I finally asked her.
“Because four people in my department have already applied for it, and if one of them gets the job, I know I’ll kick myself for not having applied.”
“That’s not a good enough reason,” I said. “Fear should never be the motivating factor in a decision.”
Of course it’s much easier to spot the fear in someone else’s life. I’m often oblivious to my own panic. But I do think I’m getting better at assessing my motivation for certain behaviors and decisions. If I feel the urge to move in one direction out of trepidation of where the other path might take me, I sit with that intention awhile longer, so that I can tease out the worry and anxiety before I make my decision.
And it’s not always the right one.
But I’m hoping the more I can recognize a motivating fear, the more right decisions I’ll eventually make.
Image credit: futurity.org