Posted by contributing writer Chrysty Beverley Fortner.
I used to live in the land of “what if.” It’s not a very enchanting place to be, but so many of us end up there time and time again. Let’s compare two stories of far away lands: “What If;” where the princess never kisses her prince and the knight never slays his dragon to “As If;” where the princess is already making wedding plans and the knight clears a place on the wall for his trophy kill.
Over the past few years I’ve come to realize the energy expended on all the things that never happen is so much more useful when used to live as if my desired outcome has already occurred. Some psychologists believe that only 8% of what we worry about is even legitimate and only a fraction of a fraction of that percentage ever comes true. Still we utter, “but what if I…” or “what if they…” I see it in the workplace daily…hourly…all the reasons something cannot happen due to the “what ifs” of downtown or the big boss or the system. Doesn’t leave much room for happily ever after, does it?
Our English word “worry” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word that means “to strangle!” No doubt! It is very strangling or stifling to limit ourselves with fear. Fear of the “what if.” It can be debilitating, but there’s a method to moving through worry. It takes a leap of faith, it takes a paradigm shift, and it takes a passage into make-believe that is well worth the journey.
I’ve heard counseling terms like “fake it ‘til you make it,” or “act as if” so that’s what I learned to do. I also read about Robert Kelly, a psychologist and mathematician who concluded that there are an infinite number of outcomes to every worry or scenario, so why not take the positive one? Let’s see, 8% probability versus infinity…I’ll take infinity (and beyond)!
The point to this fairy tale was to say that for three months, I’ve been living “as if” the sponsorships I’m chasing are already in place. I’ve strategically assumed their involvement and that’s lead to another, and another and yet another. Now, have I landed every opportunity? No. I said the outcomes are infinitely possible not necessarily guaranteed in my favor. BUT, has living in that make-believe reality helped to further my efforts? You bet your royal highness it has!
It’s really a simple mindset that can benefit us professionally, emotionally and even physically, but it is very clearly a choice. And we have the power to make that choice not just every day, but at every uneasy or indecisive moment throughout our day. I didn’t even realize I was operating in this realm until I got a callback Friday from a prospect that I was already assuming was on board. That’s when it hit me that this particular company was the initial proposal I sent out that got the ball rolling for several more that followed based on the possibility of their involvement. I’d say the knight from “As If” just kicked the dragon from “What Ifs” tail!
What land are you living in?