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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Kocher

Fences are Uncomfortable

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Sitting on fences is uncomfortable.

It’s not a place you want to linger.

But you do because it feels safe to your primitive brain.

If you’re someone who struggles with indecision or feeling stuck, it might be because you have a habit of beating yourself up when things don’t work out the way you thought they would.

Failure just means you didn’t get the result you expected.

It doesn’t mean you’re stupid, and you might as well give up (actual words I’ve said to myself).

When you make failure mean something unkind about you, your brain senses danger.

It’s the same reaction as if someone else was aggressively criticizing you.

Fight, flight or freeze.

You have to feel safe to get off the fence.

We do that by teaching our brain that it’s safe to fail and course correct.

It is the only way to stay in motion and move forward.

How do we do this?

You decide on purpose and ahead of time what you will make possible failure mean.

What if you make a decision that doesn’t get the desired result?

What will you make it mean about you? How will you treat yourself?

Imagine a child learning to ride a bike.

It’s scary.

But you encourage them. Just give it a try.

They fall. They cry. They want to give up.

It’s okay. Everyone falls at first. You’re getting closer. You’re getting it.

I’m right beside you. I’ve got you.

Imagine if, when they fall, you say to them, you really stink at this.

I don’t think you’re going to get it. I’m done helping. Bike riding just isn’t for you.

We would never.

But we do it to ourselves every day.


So You made a decision, and it didn’t go the way you hoped it would.

Good to know.

Now you have neutral data to work with.

What worked? What didn’t work? What will you do differently?

Safety doesn’t come from the outcome of the decision.

Safety comes from inside.

Safety comes from what you make it mean about you.

Safety comes from how you think, feel and treat yourself.

You could make it mean:

I’m so proud of myself for making a decision, taking action, trying something new, learning from it, tweaking it, and moving forward. Go me.

That makes your brain feel safe to get back on the bike.


Your life is simply a series of decisions.

Your past decisions created your current results, and today’s decisions (or indecision) will create your future.

Jump off the fence and enjoy the comfort of knowing you will have your back no matter what.

And if you need help, reach out. I’ve got you.

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