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.