4 reasons for inaction

What we think vs. what we do

The desire to do something is strong in all of us.  We have our secret fantasies, daydreams and people we hold up in high regard because what they do in life is something we aspire to do as well.   However, taking those desires and thoughts and implementing them into tangible actions with proof in our lives is often a challenging task and sadly left unfulfilled.  Why?

A look at our core values

As we grow up, we are shaped by our environment; society, schools, and home life.  These environments impose external values upon us that serve when we are young.  However, as we get older and develop our own personalities, what we truly believe about life may be different from what we were told life should be like; our true core values do not match the external core values we were given as a child.

When difficulty arises in life and we are frozen with inaction or current action becomes increasing difficult, it is because our true core values are not in alignment with our actions.  The role of the coach is to help the client fully explore their core values and examine areas in their life that are not in agreement.


A common scenario is to have an idea, get excited about it, but then as time or reality sets in, the idea fades away without being acted upon.  That flame of an idea burns brightly for that short amount of time and then dies; sometimes slowly and more often than not, very quickly.

What is it that keeps us from acting upon our ideas?

What limits us from bringing our true core values out into the world?

There are many, many factors of why people do not act as there are people, however there are some very common themes that restrict our actions when it comes to acting from a place of our true core values rather than what we were given.

Reasons for Inaction

1. Fear

The reason for fear is varied.  It can be fear of listening to our true selves, being different, what others will say, fear of failure, and/or the emotional component of exploring our values and beliefs.

2.  Uncertainty

Having our core values handed to us and not questioning them (even though we are not happy with them) is a defined path and with that comes some comfort (to use the expression of the “devil we know vs. the devil we don’t).  Exploring our true core values, and venturing out on another course of action puts us out there on new uncertain ground.

3.  Limiting personal habits

Despite wanting to implement our true core values, our life may not be structured to facilitate that happening. Time management, monetary priorities, addictions, poor self concepts and/or an overly negative outlook of the future are all activities and behaviors that not only take up time and energy, but also create an environment that does not nurture growth.

4.  Gremlins (or Saboteurs)

These are the voices in our heads that tell us what we are thinking is crazy, a waste of time, doomed to fail and we should give up now before it’s too late.

These factors, either alone or in concert, can keep us stuck and frozen with the inability to act.  Furthermore, left unchecked they do not only promote a lack of progress, but also start to move us backwards stripping us of self confidence and really knowing ourselves.


What keeps you stuck in action?  What would  you add to the list?

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