5 Reasons to Ignore Cold Feet and Press Forward

Playing safe feels wiser than stepping out, unless the house is on fire.

You get cold feet when the path ahead matters.


Delay feels good when it’s time to put skin in the game. Caution searches for validation and usually finds it.

Reasons to play it safe feel more certain than untested behaviors, stretched courage, and uncertain paths. 

  • Are you sure we’re on the right path?
  • Maybe we should pull back.
  • What if we fail?

5 reasons to ignore cold feet:

  1. Did you make decisions thoughtfully? Keep going.
  2. Are circumstances the same? Keep going.
  3. Are you tired and frustrated? Keep going. Avoid decisions based on what you don’t want. Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “The difference between perseverance and obstinancy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”
  4. Are you early in the proccess, but the path ahead seems uncertain? Keep going. Rethink after seeing early results, not before.
  5. Is the end near? Keep going. The second most dangerous time in any endeavor is when it’s almost over. The first is shortly after beginning. One difference between average and exceptional is ending well.

Caution is a wise counselor. But sometimes it’s wiser to just keep going.

“If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.” Joseph Addison

When should leaders keep going?

When does persistence go wrong?

*This post is inspired by the soon to be published book, “Expensive Sentences: Debunking the Common Myths that Derail Decisions and Sabotage Success,” by Jack Quarles. Pre-order available now.