I hear this question a lot, followed by all manner of frightful, worrying, utterly catastrophic outcomes, and yet hardly ever hear the potential amazingly awesome results that could come from taking a risk (or even taking one step toward that risk, for that matter).
On a mastermind call this week, I coined the phrase "Self-Sabotage Loop" for my own, and dare I say sophisticated (thanks to the ego always trying to outsmart the coach) brand of limiting and often debilitating "what if?" questions. As the words came across my lips, I had to laugh at myself, and then got very serious about what to do next to overcome and bypass the absurdity of the excuses I will often pre-fabricate based on a whole host of unknowns, just to avoid...um...what exactly am I trying to avoid?
- Failure? Nope. I have failed a lot, and always bounce back higher, so that's not it.
- Embarrassment? Nah, most of my failures have gone relatively unnoticed to the outside world, so that's not it either.
- Exposure? Ooh...maybe. Oh gosh. Oh...oh dear. Yes. Maybe. Oh man. I've got some exploring to do in my next coaching session.
- SUCCESS? Oh, hell yes! Wait! What?! Avoid success? Now that's just crazy talk.
The deeper I dig in my own personal development work, I learn that the biggest reason I procrastinate and avoid has more to do with upgrading my story from an undesired situation to the actual desired outcome. WHAT IF...it actually comes together the way I hope?
Or, and this is good, so stay with me here:
What if it turns out EVEN BETTER than I ever imagined?
I have also learned in working with clients that I am absolutely not alone on this imaginary island of terrifying "what if?" questions, and although I am somewhat comforted, I prefer to issue a challenge to you, if you are willing to upgrade every single aspect of your life from mere excellence to absolute genius. You in? I sure am!
Here's how it works. You will ask yourself these 3 "what if?" questions and then let go. Answer if you like, and if you feel any resistance, hesitation or doubt, STOP trying to answer. Ask with open curiosity, the way a child might ask a series of questions, and then move on to something else. It's that simple. Ask yourself at the beginning or end of your day, or whenever contemplating doing something you feel afraid or trepidatious to start or complete.
What if…it’s amazing?
What if…my whole life changes?
What if…I’m truly happy?
Remember to ask yourself with the openness and curiosity of a child, and allow your higher self (rather than your daily task-master, "practical" self) to go searching, then start to take note of what you notice.
Here is what you can expect. You will start to be more thoughtful about making decisions. You will begin to slow down before you speed up. You will relinquish some control, and your higher conscious will begin to search for answers, which will give you a chance to get out of your head and get some other stuff done.
There is one guarantee I can offer: you will experience change by asking yourself these questions. The rest is up to you.
I would love to hear your experience after a day, a week or even a month of routinely asking yourself these three questions. Please leave a note, share your experience, and of course, contact me if you would like to experience a powerful one-hour coaching call with me.