Un-slump yourself or The Limbo Leap!
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
What if? What if I do this? What if I DON’T do this? What if? What IF? We’ve all been there, and I’m afraid it’s quite frightening. It’s the dark place where indecision holds us in its grip. It’s scary and lonely – it’s where we go to worry and fret. And when we go there to escape our fears, the fears outside become even bigger. And then these fears distort reality. They even wake us up at night.
We all get to that juncture, be it personal, health, or business – when the decision we need to make is not obvious. We can choose to: 1) do nothing until the answer is obvious; 2) flip a coin and let a random act choose for us; 3) find the best information we can, think how we can mitigate the risks, and then choose based on that best information.
When I was in business school, I was running a business and was a single mother of a very young boy, taking university classes as a mature student – one who was never content to get anything but A’s, even if it meant staying up all night to write or study. I was driven. One day in second year, I was writing an accounting exam, analysing a case study and making recommendations. I wrote a great paper, really great, I thought, until I got my mark back – it was a B. What? No A? I was sure I had nailed it, and my professor, when questioned, even echoed the thoughts running around in my head – great analysis, great writing. Then where had I gone wrong? He told me. It was simply in the last sentence. Really? Yes! After making a solid recommendation I blew it by adding that I needed more information before proceeding. In business, the professor said, you will never have complete information, but you will have to make a decision anyway based on what you DO know. Figure out your worst-case scenario, make a solid plan around it, and if you can live with that, go for it. That stuck with me, but as the years went by, I realized, that’s true in many parts of life.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? Now, I envision the worst case, and that let’s me imagine and create a well-thought-out, maybe even brilliant, plan. All of a sudden, I can manage my risk, at least in a tolerable way. Using my brain to fight my fear, my attitude lifts and evokes my talent, skills, and abilities. I remember that I AM capable. I can face one day at a time. Do I always make it? No. But I have found that trying, sometimes, is more important than success. Fears show me where to work, and sometimes when the easy way is denied, I dig even deeper. Hey…maybe that IS success after all.
There are a great many people who can be debilitated by the confines of mediocrity that is created because they are not confident enough to decide a new outcome, a new direction, and a different purpose. Here is a simple filter to help you decide at any juncture. Is the best-case scenario great? Is the realistic case OK? And have you done your homework and determined that the worst-case is at least manageable? Then what are you waiting for? You can manage the worst.
I write business plans for a living now and evaluate risk and opportunity at every turn. It’s amazing where you can take a business, and your life, when you put fear in its rightful place. Choice is a gift – it’s your power. Doing your homework is part of it; the other is using your ingenuity and beliefs to ease the risks, so you’re never tempted to look back. You’ll stay positive because if you can live with the WORST-case scenario, you will end up doing things that will exceed your own expectations. By doing that, you will learn, you will grow, and you WILL get smarter, until PRESTO, things finally really fall together.
Linda Wilson wrote today's guest blog for DUO.CA. Wise words. Thanks Linda
Linda Wilson, B.B.A. (Hon.,) M.B.A.