forgoing an immediate benefit because of future consequences
Conscience is the motivation that negative consequences are unavoidable if a present desire is acted upon. Conscience can serve a character well in overcoming strong transient desires that would bring disasters upon him. If the negative consequences are purely imaginary, however, Conscience constricts the free expression of one's heart.
syn. forgoing for fear of consequences, forgo, forbearance, temperance, abstinence, restraining oneself