If We Know What We Should Do, Why Don't We Do It?

If We Know What We Should Do, Why Don't We Do It?

Last update: 15 February, 2017

You’re paralyzed, and simply watch yourself like this. However, deep down, you know exactly what to do to lift your spirits and, above all, what would make your heart happy. You know full well that it is in your hands to take the step and move forward, but you don’t do it. You have heard internally what you need, and something within you denies it. Why does this happen?

“Where there is no fear, there will also be no value, necessary to live.”
-Leonardo Boff-

Fear tends to be the cause of most of the negative situations in which we find ourselves. Overcoming fear leads us to great joys. It is possible that things are more clear than how you perceive them. Also, it’s likely that you know the answer to the next big step in your life. Yet, it is fear and panic that are keeping you motionless where you currently stand.

How do I feel?

The answer to this question is pretty complicated, because it demands patience and affection towards oneself. And in attempting to answer this question, it forces you to be honest and speak to yourself openly. This can pose a great emotional effort on your part.


In your current position, you feel uncomfortable, incapable of concentrating, and just plain clumsy in your day-to-day. It is as if you know that you aren’t in the correct place, but you’re incapable of moving. Hence, the discomfort you feel expands into all of your emotions, and your mood is modified.

The key: rational knowledge and emotional knowledge

We all have two types of reasoning that we use to make decisions. One that has to do with the more instinctive and rational part of your brain. And another, which is more emotional and impulsive. The former is linked to the control of situations and the search for security. Thus, it is very useful in moments in which one requires coldness of action. The latter, as its name indicates, is linked to our emotions.

“I like people who are sentient. Those who don’t separate reason from the heart. Who feel and think at the same time. Without divorcing the head from the body, nor emotions from reason.”
-Eduardo Galeano-

They are both related, despite the fact that as people we subconsciously lean towards one side or the other. For example, some people are more empathetic than others. If you find that you rationally know what you have to do, but emotionally you don’t know why you don’t do it, it might be because your more human movements need to be driven by that emotional part of yourself.

Reorganize your motivations

The conflict doesn’t have to be motivated by reason. Instead, it would be good if it was guided by emotion. If you need to do something, first you need to feel that you want to do it. Let’s say, for example, that you are aware that you have to start dieting, because your health is waning. However, you never carry it out. The problem is that emotionally you don’t want to start a diet. Hence, your willpower falters.


Reorganize your motivations and listen carefully to where you truly want to go. Not where you should go, since sometimes reason doesn’t let us be happy. Give yourself enough time to find the path that your heart dictates and fight against your fears and traumas if they are keeping you from doing it. You can come out on top, and this is a fight worth winning. Only then will you know that what you are doing corresponds with what you truly long for.

“Breathe with the confident depth that you breathed with the day you came into the world. Without allowing anything to distract you. Wait and wait longer still. Stay calm, quiet, and listen to your heart. And when it speaks to you, stand up and go wherever it takes you.”
-Susanna Tamaro-

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.