How to change fear and inaction to excitement and progress with one simple phrase
You know how it feels. You have the chance to something big and bold and exciting and game-changing…and then you start thinking about it.
What if it goes wrong?
What if I can’t handle this?
What if I end up wasting my money?
What if I look like an idiot?
ACK!! Eva Young certainly knew what she was talking about when she said, “To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”
We all have occasional fear and uncertainty; you can’t avoid that. What you can avoid is letting fear paralyze you and hold you back from stepping into a big, beautiful world of your own creation.
So how do you avoid thinking so much that you end up taking no action whatsoever? The answer is found in the same phrase that got you into fear paralysis to begin with: What if?
Use “What if…?” to empower rather than diminish.
Most people use this phrase to catastrophize–to think of all the worst-case scenarios and scare themselves. They use it to diminish their self-confidence and personal power. The smart and successful entrepreneur, on the other hand, uses this phrase to unleash her creativity and problem-solving skills, building her confidence in her abilities in the process.
It’s easy to learn how to use “What if…?” to propel yourself forward instead of chain yourself down.
- Notice when you start running your old tape, in which “What if…?” is followed by all sorts of dire catastrophes.
- Challenge yourself, briefly but firmly, to knock yourself out of this habitual thought pattern. One of my personal favorite phrases is, “Oh, stop. Knock it off!”
- Choose a more empowering way to finish the phrase.
- What if this is the best investment I’ve ever made in my business?
- What if this is just the solution I need?
- What if this is the answer to my prayers?
“What if…?” Such a small phrase, and yet so powerful. What’s your choice? Will you use it to keep yourself playing small, or will you start using it to step into big?
BTW, thanks to epSos.de for the image of the scary cliff and to hksmith for the candy-shop image. I found both in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.This entry was posted in courage, creativity, entrepreneur, flexibility, personal power, problem solving and tagged choice, confidence, courage. Bookmark the permalink.