Are Your Maybes Holding You Hostage?


Consider the implications of this one word.

How many times have you said, “Maybe I will do that,” or “Maybe I like that,” or “Maybe later.”

Most of our maybes are another way of saying, “Um, I just don’t know.”  It reeks of hesitancy, and it’s another way of putting life on hold.

Of course, there are times when saying maybe is the exact non-action we need to take.  We wouldn’t want to jump into anything that would actually put our lives in jeopardy.  But we can only sit on the fence for so long before distress and confusion set in.  Better to decide and live with the decision of yes or no, or your maybe will hold you hostage until you take some kind of action.

Lingering too long in the purgatory of maybe slows our creativity.  Sometimes it stops our progress altogether.  At their best, our maybes are our future possibilities, but if we remain inactive or indecisive, those possibilities will remain unrealized.  The more we remain in the realm of maybe, the more uninspired we become.  This can lead to anxiety, depression, hopelessness, helplessness, addiction, and giving up.

Many times people use maybe because they don’t want to be held accountable for their commitments (or possible commitments). But living an authentic life, one in which you are true to yourself, means being ready, willing, and able to transform those maybes into nos and yeses. The moment we replace maybe with either a yes or a no, we generate movement. We become unstuck and our inspiration, creativity, and confidence begin to flow.

Transforming your maybes begins with some self-examination and internal spring cleaning. This can be as simple as making a list of maybes in your life.  Consider all areas (personal, financial, vocational, spiritual, physical, relational, etc.).  This means all the things you are undecided about, including any unfinished projects that are loitering inside your closets. Bring them all out into the open where you can face them head-on.

Decide what you are not going to give your time and energy to. This is where you will take action to dissolve any commitments that no longer serve your highest good.  If any commitment has resulted and continues to result in energy drain, it’s time to say no to it. Bless it as you release it, and give gratitude for it once having served you.

Now decide on what you are going to say yes to.  Be clear and open about it.  This means being conscious of what you are committing yourself to. Again, do what you need to do to renew your commitment to it, and begin. You will feel a sense of renewal within yourself, one that gives you the energy and inspiration to move forward.

As for any lingering maybes, give them a deadline, not too far into the future, when you will decide either yes or no.

When we are intentional and conscious about our nos and yeses, there won’t be any room for the maybes to hold us hostage.


6 thoughts on “Are Your Maybes Holding You Hostage?

  1. Gena Livings

    Dear Penny,
    This is such an INSPIRING article!! I love when you say “the more we remain in the realm of maybe, the more uninspired we become.” This is so TRUE because when we take action by putting our faith in the unknown this is when our life takes off! When we stay stuck in “maybe” our life force can’t breathe, it stagnates.
    This is a beautiful message today! Thank you so very much!!! 🙂

    Healthy blessings,
    Gena 🙂 xxx
    Gena Livings recently posted…Ways to Recycle and Reduce WasteMy Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Gena!

      I’m so glad that you found this inspiring! Facing the “maybes” in our life allows us to take the action we need to move forward. How many times have we heard others say, “Wow, I just feel so much better having made that decision!”

      Here’s to kicking “maybe” to the curb!

  2. Andrea

    Great post Penny! Thought provoking as usual. I hadn’t really considered it before but of course our maybes hold us stuck. I hate indecision! I don’t tend to stay in maybes for very long, even if I have to resort to tossing a coin, I’d rather make a ‘wrong’ decision than none at all. At least I’m doing something and you can usually change decisions if it doesn’t turn out well. Maybes belong in the procrastination club too, maybe I’ll do that when I’ve got more money etc. Perhaps maybes are sometimes nos or yeses we’re fearful to face sometimes…feel the fear and do it anyway! Kick those maybes into touch. Yay! Blessings, Andrea

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Thank you, Andrea. Maybes just keep us stuck in life. When we have a system to help us turn them into decisions, then life begins to flow again. Many times, as you mentioned, those maybes are the nos and yeses we’re fearful to face. Sitting on the fence isn’t going to turn them into nos or yeses, so action has to be taken, even if only giving them a deadline.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  3. ruchira

    I agree procrastination is my hidden talent Penny.

    I am kinda in a maybe mood when something new props up but then I make sure to ponder over it until I make a decision on it…

    Loved your take on this!
    ruchira recently posted…Mind your business!My Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Ruchira.

      Indeed, procrastination is so easy to fall into. Some things require thinking, especially big decisions that will affect your life or the lives of others, so it’s important to think things over in that sense, but a decision will need to be made sooner or later. Ignoring it won’t go away, so action such as thinking about it and giving yourself a deadline to make the decision is still helping you to move forward. It’s the inaction that prevents us from moving forward. Action is key.

      Thank you for stopping in and sharing. Much appreciated.


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