Please Do Not Sit On The Fence

by Bill Mansell on July 22, 2008 | Articles

Recently, I saw a sign while I was at an amusement park with my kids that made me think. It said simply, “please do not sit on the fence.” I thought, isn’t this the biggest problem we have in our business and personal lives? Wouldn’t it be great if we all took these instructions to heart? We are a society of fence sitters: we vacillate, we avoid commitment, we procrastinate, and we put off important decisions. This tendency to fence sit is a result of fear to commit, fear of making the wrong decision. Yet, commitment is the key to success in every aspect of our lives.

Last year, a friend of mine became engaged to a successful, handsome man. He gave her a beautiful ring and they were very excited. Weeks passed, however, and she could never get him to discuss a date for the wedding. He would just say, “we’ll talk about that later.” She figured it was just nervousness and they continued to date and have fun together. More time passed, but he still refused to even discuss it. One night he said, “I love being engaged to you, but I can’t guarantee that this engagement will end in marriage.” Finally, after 6 months, and no firm commitment, she called off the engagement. He was shocked and surprised because he thought things were going fine.

This is an extreme example, but it unfortunately describes many of us. Too many of us “quit looking for work, the minute we find a job,” to quote Zig Ziglar. Too many adopt a “try it and see how it works” attitude to everything from weight loss to applying a business idea to personal relationships. Too many continually change their minds about important life decisions. One woman complained to me that she had started 15 different diets in a 60-day period. Too many of us hope more than we commit. It is a recipe for failure.

Commitment is a combination of enthusiasm and duty. It means that you are willing to make a decision and then jump in with both feet. It means that once you have studied it out in your mind and made a firm decision, you don’t even consider the possibility of failure but work like crazy to make your vision a reality. As an employee it means you commit to the company that you will do everything in your power to fulfill your job and give 100% for as long as you are employed there. In family life it is an unwavering allegiance to your spouse and children, an assurance of your loyalty and devotion, no matter what difficulties arise. It means you are willing to sacrifice what you want at the moment for what you want more. As an entrepreneur it means you work with determination and steadfastness to bring about your ideas. It means that when roadblocks or detours arise, you don’t give up, you simply reformulate your plan and move ahead.

Please do not sit on the fence! I challenge you to put this sign up on your mirror, keep it in your mind and adopt it as your personal philosophy. Decide, then commit. It will make a huge difference in your life.

Bill Mansell is president of MindPerk, Inc., one of the web's largest resources for self improvement and business training. A dynamic speaker and success coach, Bill is the author of a weekly blog titled, One Minute Motivators. Bill helps companies and organizations inspire and motivate their team members to consistently achieve more. His contagious enthusiasm has helped people from all walks of life to reach and exceed their goals.

has 149 articles on MindPerk.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

joebeone October 28, 2016

In my search for Radicalism I found the opposite “Fence sitting”. To share a thought on whom some one I believe Jesus Christ . Revelation 3: 15, 16……. I know your deeds that you are neither cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other !… So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
So we are called to be passionate about what we believe in . Live it wholeheartedly. Be radical, like Jesus said ” love your enemy” . Don’t settle for just being comfortable, nothing is worse than a Fence sitting Christian. Either I’m hot – I do what the God I follow says or be cold and dance with the devil. There is no in between.
When you are driving you need to decide whether your going to cross the intersection or not you can not just sit in the middle , you have become a danger to every one. That is why God will spit you out.
That is how we should live our life in all parts of our life. Either I like my job or I don’t , either I love my girlfriend or I don’t, don’t string her along. DO NOT SIT ON THE FENCE ABOUT IT.


Marcia Day December 3, 2012

Thanks for the encouragement. We all need a little less fence sitting! Let’s go make something happen!


Valerie May 4, 2009

I needed to read this tonight. I am sitting on a fence. As an entrepreneur who spent 6 years writing a book…committed the whole time to it’s completion and staying with it even though it was lonely at times and tough..I now find myself fence sitting in terms of my commitment to sharing it with the world. I don’t know how I have lost my ‘get up and go’ but it’s been miserable for me. I’ve also lost my enthusaism for marketing my coaching practice and building a speaking businiess. I wonder if sometimes fence sitting happens because it’s scary to say you’re ready for a change, esp. when you don’t know what you are changing into! just an additional thought to add….I’d like to read an article that speaks to other reasons that people chose to sit on the fence. Maybe it will help me get off 🙂


Eyelen February 25, 2009

Who would ever sit on that fence? Please look at it; it has spikes! We are part of a society full of retards. That’s our biggest problem. You can’t expect much from people who would actually sit


Rose July 29, 2008

Last night I joined an accountability group to get help through my procrastination. While I like the free time I ‘think’ I gain because of procrastination, I realize that if I keep on task I will have more free time. Thanks for such a timely article.


LOVELEE July 29, 2008

Excellent Article. One that I feel we all need to take to heart. Thanks!



Michael July 29, 2008

You are so right about making a commitment. As an employer, I have noticed that those employees who work as though they had a stake in the company and who loyally support the company brand, even when they are not at work, make a lot more money, are happier in their work, and are promoted faster than those who are just there for their pay check.


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