Thursday, March 24, 2011

What if...examine your excuses

We all have excuses for not doing things. I am a prime procrastinator; I'll happily spend hours talking about why I can't do something when it might only take me a few minutes to actually do it.

So when mentors or mentorees tell me how they hesitate to do whatever... I tell them about the "what if..." game. It's how my son prepped to ask for his first date; how I got up the nerve to ask for my first mentor; and a great way to realize how silly some of our fears and stumbling blocks can be.

This is how it works:
Imagine the situation you have been avoiding.
Ask yourself "What if I actually do/say/try this, what's the worst thing that could happen?"
Then answer yourself "What would you do if that worst thing happened?"
Then imagine the next worst outcome... and so on.

 This is how it worked with my son...

What if you actually ask her out?
She could point a finger at me and laugh.
And what would you do then?
I'd die of humiliation.
Really die?
Probably just be embarrassed.
And then what would you do?
Walk away probably.
What else could she do?
Tell her friends I'm an idiot.
Then what would you do?
Probably agree with her and ask someone else out.
What else?
She could slap me.
What would you do then?
What else?
She could say "yes".
What would you do then?
Ask you for money to take her to a movie....

He got the date. She liked his confidence.

I got the mentor.

A friend talked her way into a job. Another started approaching strangers at networking events and just introducing herself.

If you're not prepared, your fears will get the best of you. Take a good look at what's really stopping you and walk yourself through it. You'll be surprised how many barriers "what if" removes.

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