Monday, November 2, 2015

Motivation Monday | Stop with the "What ifs"

It's a glorious Monday.  Hopefully, you are taking advantage of the time change by getting up at your normal time (pre-daylight savings) and allocating that extra hour towards creating new realities.

This morning, I want to bring your attention towards something that could really be holding you back.  It's something we all do....sometimes subconsciously.  I'm bringing attention to this action, so whenever we find ourselves entertaining the thought of "what if," we can respond accordingly.
Typically, whenever we ask "what if" we are usually coming from a place of fear.  Asking what if implies that a worse case scenario could likely take place.  Most often, a person who wonders what if isn't really looking for an answer to the question, but is merely expressing their internal fears as an external question.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes, what if questions are legitimate, but only if you are operating from a place of seeking solutions versus looking for reasons not to do something. 

Here's an example to illustrate "what ifs" in the form of fear.  A customer of mine inquired about the location of her package.  I couldn't find the right information online so I decided call the Post Office customer service to get a little help.  The woman on the other line was very friendly and helpful.  As she began her investigation, we engaged in small talk to pass the time.  When we got on the topic of my business, her voice lit up.  Next she expressed her desire to start her own business and work for herself.  "But, she stated, what if the customer's packages get lost?.....That's always been my concern."

I paused for a moment and let her question set in.  My first reaction was shock.  Perhaps I was being a bit insensitive, but in my mind, she was asking an utterly ridiculous question.  In the calmest way possible, I responded, "when packages get lost, I replace them."  That's it!  That is the answer to the question that is holding her back from stepping into her new future.

 But, I suspect she wasn't asking herself the "what if" question in a logical way. Because if she was, she could have easily come up with a solution for lost package scenario.  Instead, she allowed the simple question to turn into a paralyzing fear.  Then I said, "you actually have an advantage....if one of your customer's packages get lost, you probably have inside knowledge of the post office that can help you solve those issues quickly."  "Yeah, she responded, you're absolutely right.....thanks!"  I could tell from the sound of her voice that she realized how minuscule her fear was (especially a person in her position).

I don't blame her though, because I was there too. Before making the decision of stepping into my new life, I battled the question "what if I fail at this, loose everything and become homeless?" For a while, I allowed that question to fuel my procrastination.  Eventually, after avoiding it for so long, I decided to actually confront my "what if."  It's kinda like when a person is being terrorized in a movie and finally decides to face her fear once and for all.  So I sat down and forced myself to logically answer the "what if."   A myriad of realistic responses came to mind. Once I became at peace with alternatives, nothing could hold me back.  Fast forward, a year later, and I'm so glad I didn't allow the what if question to paralyze my progress.

Don't get me wrong, asking "what if" could be wise and prudent thing to do, if you are coming from a place of power, not a place of fear.  Get clear on whether you are asking "what if" as a powerful question or if you are merely stalling.  Today, I invite you to stop running from your what ifs. Turn around, look it straight in the eye, and show it who's boss.

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