We’ve all played the “What if” game. Usually it’s negative, as in: “What if I go in for that audition and I totally bomb?” “What if that girl/guy I ask out says no?” “What if I get on that airplane and it crashes?”
And it’s usually something we care deeply about, that makes us play the what if game. Something that keeps us up at night and makes us ask the ultimate question “Am I Worthy?”
Worthy of a successful career?
Worthy of love?
Worthy of a adventure?
The answer is, YES! Absolutely. BUT–it’s likely not going to happen overnight. See, some things take a few tries. Usually the really important stuff. And you might think–well some people do. But I bet you, if you actually spoke to those people, and heard their story–you’d see that they’ve spent years prior to that moment, failing. Even lottery winners admit they’ve spent a lifetime of money on tickets before winning.
Understanding that you need failure in order to succeed is the single greatest lesson you can learn. But that can be a hard lesson to digest right away, and it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to take the leap. So, how can we make it easier to try something, even though we might fail?
Here are two activities you can do right now, to help you:
- Play out your worst case scenario. People love to play the “what if” game, but only up to a point. They hit that first thing “what if I bomb” then they stop there. But let’s play it all out. For the sake of this article, lets say it’s you get an audition for something really awesome, but instead of being excited for it, you are a nervous wreck, and you consider telling your agent that you can’t do it. Below is how I would clarify it in my own head, but feel free to write your own scenario all out.
-If I go in to this audition, I’ll be a complete mess
-I won’t remember my lines
-They’ll hate me
-I won’t get the job
-They’ll never call me in again because they’ll know I’m a total fraud
Sound about right?
Now, I want you to use your imagination here, and picture your best friend/sister/brother saying these insecurities to you. Write down how you would respond to them. Maybe you would highlight some accomplishments they’ve had in the past, maybe you could suggest some practical solutions. So I’d write something like this:
-You’ve been to auditions before, and you’ve booked jobs before. Just treat this one like any other audition.
-Maybe you can get a coach to help you, then you’ll feel more confident about your choices.
-There’re many reasons why you won’t book the job, most of them have nothing to do with you.
-They called you in because they believe in you, and they likely have seen your previous work. If they called you in before this audition, they’ll call you in again. If they’ve never called you in before, then you don’t want to miss the chance at being seen by them for the first time.
Feel a bit better? Sometimes, we just need to take a third-party perspective to see how unreasonable our fears are.
But this next step, is how we change our nervousness into excitement. This part I’d encourage you to write out so you can refer to them over and over again.
2. Write out your “what ifs” in the most positive way. Your best-case scenarios.
-What if my prep work on this is so on point and I completely nail this audition?
-What if they absolutely LOVE me?
-What if I book the job?
-What if not only do I book this job, but the casting directors are already looking to see what other roles they can call me in for?
Getting excited? Let yourself revel in this excitement, allow yourself to dream that dream. Because like attracts like, so highly positive people attract highly positive things into their lives. Resonate with that knowledge that you can be as successful as your wildest dreams. Fear does nothing but hold us back from learning what we need to learn.
So when you’re faced with one of your greatest fears, a challenge that makes you think “I don’t wanna do that–What if I fail?” Flip it on it’s head and think of the possibilities, think of the BEST possible outcome. And go after it like you know that’s what’s going to happen. Get so excited about it you can’t wait to do it!
The point is, no matter what your “worst case scenario is” the actually worst case is not trying at all. Because even if you fail, you are one step closer to achieving your goal.