You have 2 other choices:
1- To go to the Hawza and study and reach the level of ijtihad with which you can derive the legal rulings, so you do not need to taqleed.
2- To take the path of precaution in all matters, so if the ruling revolves around an issue between the obligation and the non-obligation, it is taken as the obligation, and if it is between the forbidden and the impermissible, the inviolability is taken.
And if the ruling is between shortening and completeness in prayer, then you must combine shortening and completeness. And on Friday, you should pray the Friday prayer and the noon prayer as well, and all of that to make sure that you are free from the questionable ruling.
In any case, imitation is a reality we live daily, and very simply and we do not pay attention to it, so why do we see it in the legal rulings as something reprehensible?
Aren't you in your daily life imitating the doctor in the treatment he prescribes for you, the mechanic who repairs your car, the engineer who engineers your house…etc?
The return of the ignorant to the scholar, and the return of the non-specialist to the specialist are natural rational matters, and among them is the return of the non-specialist in legal matters to the specialist in them.