“There are two ways to go when you hit that crossroads in your life: There is the bad way, when you sort of give up, and then there is the really hard way, when you fight back” — Matthew Perry
The worst part of hitting a crossroads is that you may not always know when you are about to hit one. Crossroads make us feel scared because we feel we are not sure of what we are supposed to do.
If I hit a crossroads, I feel like I should know which way to go and I may try and go that way, but I won’t stop wondering about the other paths that were there.
We see crossroads as difficult because we know that many paths have bright outlooks but may contain one or two bad paths. The question is how bad are the bad paths and how likely are we to venture down those if we can’t see what lies beyond it?
Crossroads are scary yet enticing because they are full of opportunity. Very few paths hold the negative. But even if the dangers may be nonexistent the choice feels dreadful to make and hangs over our heads before, during and even after a decision has been made.
Make a major change
Making a major change is hard because you may not be able to exactly pinpoint the decisions that would cause a major change.
What we do know is that major changes are things like accepting a new job opportunity, leaving your current job, ending a relationship or moving away from home. However, some major changes are invisible and come without anticipation.
Forming a new relationship with someone you just met may play a big role in your life from that point on, but that major change wasn’t necessarily initiated by you if you met by chance.
Major changes still lie mainly in our hands and can be taken whenever we want even if it doesn’t feel like the right time. Making a big decision that changes our lifestyle makes us feel in control.
Crossroads can be approached lightly, but heading straight for it at full force may make the best path even better. Force the crossroad to give you the best path.
If you don’t slam into the crossroads and force a path, the path may be chosen for you and you may not always get the one that benefits you the most.
Act before you think
Everyone knows thinking before you act is how things should be done, with caution.
For some situations that is the way to go. But having not taken action when the chance was presented to us, we may stick to the linear path we are on right now if the decision is now or never.
Thinking about an opportunity doesn’t guarantee that you can still take that opportunity with unlimited time. Anything can happen and anything can be revoked.
Acting before you think gives you time to think about that action after it has been done. Thinking before you act can give you the anxiety of whether or not to do it. Maybe you’ve decided you want to take that one path, but as time goes you start to make reasons and excuses for why it may not be the best path at the time.
Even if the benefits outweigh the negative, not taking the opportunity makes it harder to force yourself to later on.
In any case, acting before you think gets you somewhere with immediate results whereas thinking before leaves you where you are and you are left to imagine the place you could’ve gone to, had you made the decision instead of overthinking it.
Our brains aren’t always thinking things through for our benefit. We don’t always think about what’s best for us. We want to stay comfortable and comfort gets us nowhere.
Don’t give your brain the time to think a decision through if it may lead to overthinking, make the decision for it.
Backtracking has a kind of bad reputation for being seen as having had a failure and having to go back to where you were before. That is not the case.
Beneficial backtracking is another path of opportunity. Maybe the decision you are in between isn’t something you thought you would have to make and you see better opportunity where you came from. Backtrack to it.
Backtracking may not always be possible, but in cases where it is possible and if it is necessary, it should be considered as an option.
Having taken an opportunity and not thoroughly enjoyed it, there was still experience gained.
The only loss in backtracking is time. And even then, maybe going back and taking another path would not have been clear if you hadn’t taken the first path. Backtracking isn’t 100% backtracking.
You are always still progressing, even if it may not feel like it, that can be part of the process.
Hitting a crossroads is intimidating because we may see a few paths or what lies on the other side may be completely invisible.
Regardless, we have a gut feeling with what we want to go to, the hard part is taking those first steps and becoming determined to go down it.