So what if?

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sowhatifYou’re probably like me and millions of others. You have some dreams and goals. And tickling the back of your mind is the fear “what if…..”

I’ve talked about this before, but every day I hear from people who still feel scared to take any action. In my last blog post, I made some points about taking action.

But what it you are scared of the risks – or what you think are the risks? Is there anything you can do to avoid being blocked?

Of course there are things you can do.

BUT….it’s hard to focus on the things you can do, when you’re focusing on the things that might go wrong. The “What Ifs”.

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all done it. In fact a major plot point of “Back To The Future” revolved around a “what if”. I won’t spoil the film in case you haven’t seen it, but I will say it works out in the end!

Have you ever caught yourself thinking something like this:

“What if I don’t earn enough money to pay my bills?”
“What if I have medical expenses and can’t afford to pay them?”
“What if I make the wrong decision and open the wrong kind of business?”
“What if nobody buys from me?”

I’m not saying ignore those questions. You do have to plan for all kinds of things when you run your own business. But notice I said plan – not run away from in fear. The movie playing in your own head is on a giant Imax screen in 3D and Dolby surround sound – those fears can seem very real.

Have you noticed that those questions all seem to be a big negative? Have you ever noticed how easy it is to believe negative things? If you’re going to ask what if questions, at the very least include a whole bunch of positives.

“What if I succeed better than I expected?”
“What if I earn more money than I need?”
“What if my customers love what I do?”
“What if MY product is the very thing people really need?

If you can force yourself to believe in the first block of what ifs, what’s stopping you from believing in the second list? The only thing stopping you is……you! Yes, it’s really your own fault that you get caught up in a loop, with negative thoughts.

We’re all so used to doing it, we don’t even notice we’re doing it. Yet when we meet a positive, confident person they stand out don’t they? They seem like a different species sometimes. They’re not – they’re just the same as you and me.

The thing they do that is different is what they focus on. They focus on the positive and the outcomes they are chasing.

I don’t want to get morbid, but I’ve seen several really serious car crashes over the last couple of weeks. Around this time of year accidents start increasing. Do you think for one second the people involved got in their cars certain that they’d be in a serious crash?

No, they got in their cars confident everything would be ok. Just like most of us who drive. You see we all have the ability to trust that things will work out. We just need to do it more with the things that scare us in our online business.

Wait, I just told you that these people were confident, but still had crashes? What’s my point? My point is that the strength of your conviction is not necessarily proof that you’re right. You can be 100% wrong about the scary things that can happen, no matter how sure you are that they will happen. You being scared does not make them happen.

Send an email? Is it really that scary? I’ve heard people who say they were terrified. Terrified of sending an email?? Let’s get real about that. It’s not dangerous. It might be embarrassing if you mess up your email. It might not make much money. But terrifying? Really?

Before I continue, let me hold up my own hand and admit that it took me a long time to feel comfortable sending out emails. I had a subscriber list for a long, long time before I started emailing regularly. I know the fear of the “what if” only too well.

What happened when I just sent out the emails? I made some mistakes such as faulty links. I made spelling mistakes. I forgot to add things sometimes. And I made money…

Your imagination is a powerful tool. It can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.

Use it to imagine all the things that can go wrong and that’s what you’ll focus on. It’s what your mind will be full of. Hard to succeed when your brain is taken up with fear, frozen to the spot!

Focus on what can go right and let the power of your imagination make it feel real – now you’re talking. You’ll focus on what you want.

Yes, you could lose money. You’ll make more.
Yes, you could look like a fool. Most other people are too worried about how they look to worry too much about you!
Yes, you might annoy some people. Bad news – you are probably already doing that in real life without even realizing!

I like to focus on finding solutions. I know they are out there. If they are out there, I can find them.

Believing that I can find them keeps me looking long enough to find them! If you truly believe you won’t find them, you’ll give up before you give yourself enough of a chance.

You can use your imagination to picture your own life the way you want it. Keep asking what if questions if you want to. But make sure you are asking positive, supportive what if questions. You’ll find it easier to generate the motivation to keep going.

What’s the worst that can happen if you’re wrong about a negative what if?
That’s right – you do nothing because of fear and you get nothing because you did nothing.

What’s the worst that can happen if you’re wrong about a positive what if?
Yup, you take action and get feedback on whether it worked. You get nothing because you were wrong.

So the worst that can happen in either case is that you don’t make a ton of friends and money? Doesn’t sound all that dangerous to me.

Let me ask you one final question. If you can be wrong either way, doesn’t it make more sense at least to choose the way that is less stressful?

Please comment and let me know what you think and please share any personal stories you have about this particular topic. I know it affects so many people – most people in fact.

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