What Intersections are You Avoiding?

In most successful people’s stories are moment of inflection. Those significant points in life when either a situation occurs unexpectedly, or they make a specific choice when faced with one. I like to think of these as intersections in life.

The decisions that drive you toward success are often the toughest, because they require you to face your inner fears and self doubts.  There is also a delicate balance between seeking “wise counsel” and over-thinking the issue. Spending too much time thinking about something and getting multiple opinions (often from those who don’t really know best) can lead to you standing at the intersection for way too long.

One of the common intersections is a choice to stay or leave a job. Depending on the work itself and why you would choose to leave, the decision may need more or less time. Another is about relationships. Do I stay or do I go? It’s a bit easier making the decision to give up a toxic friendship, or break up with a girlfriend/boyfriend that you’ve realized is not the right partner for you. If you’re in a marriage, that’s an intersection where you need to take much longer to examine your options.

So how DO you approach major intersections in life? It really comes down to the green and red lights.

Unlike traffic lights, pedestrian crossings don't offer yellow lights. Click To Tweet

Examples of red lights:

  1. When the decision carries high risks. For example, you’re the primary wage earner in the family – you can’t just quit your job tomorrow. Or when you have had a good marriage for a while, and there are options to repair whatever has driven you to the crossroads. Or if the choice you make will significantly impact your quality of life, health, and loved ones.
  2. When the outcomes don’t make sense. When you’ve done your research and have input from the right people in your life and the reasons to not cross over are valid, it’s probably best to stay on this side of the street.

Sometimes, you don’t need to cross, but find an alternative route to your desired destination.

Examples of green lights:

  1. When the risks attached outweigh the challenge of crossing. Every big intersection in life carries risks. Once you know them, if they are limited and less impactful than staying where you are, chances are it’s time to cross. If you don’t know the risks of the “other side,” make sure you do more homework before blindly obeying the green man. Let the light change back to red while you do more research.
  2. When there is an obvious solution or positive outcome by crossing. If all the indications are good that you should cross, then go for it!

What about the times you have the green light, but you choose to stay on this side of the street? Chances are that you are now dealing with your own internal fears and doubts. The reason more people don’t achieve success in life is that they don’t believe they can do it, or that they deserve it. The other side of the street may be scary. It’s the unknown. You won’t really understand the full impact of crossing the street until you do.

So if you have nothing but green lights in an area of your life, yet you stand at the curb – frozen and fearful, perhaps it’s time to cross. Don’t let the red man of your self doubt stop you.

Your future life awaits.