I recently had a call with a young woman who wanted to set up her own business but her level of fear was through the roof. She had asked herself a lot of things but she had never asked ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’
As we talked she explained her business concept. She had clearly researched it, knew enough to speak confidently to others about it and loved the industry. But she then followed with ‘What if she failed? What if she gave up her job and it didn’t work out? What if no one purchased anything? What if…’
Six or seven ‘what if’s’ later I asked her who was in her corner, who had she spoken to that supported her. Top of the list was her husband. He thought she was talented, bright and ambitious. He, in fact, encouraged her to take the leap of faith. Now that’s not a bad fan to have onside!
Next, I asked her ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ She said if all of her fears became a reality that would be the very worst thing. Without going through all of the questions that followed we got round to discussing what she would do if every possible thing went wrong. To that, she replied she would review what had happened then either restart or if she felt it was not for her, go back to work (and she was confident she could get another job). And with that in mind, she was able to let go of the majority of the fears that had been holding her back from pursuing her dream as well as realising she could start the business whilst still in her current job.
It’s so easy to conjure up the worst possible scenario, distorting everything and making the possible seem impossible. When you have a dilemma ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ and when you have a clearer picture you can then decide whether the risk is worth it or not. And having someone to listen objectively helps too!