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I wrote about this last year, but it’s been coming up for me (and my clients) a lot lately, so I’m feeling inspired to give my updated take on the subject.

So many of my clients have had major breakthroughs from this one simple question, especially when it comes time to make a change or try something new.

What’s the question, you ask?

“What’s the worst that could happen if you (insert terrifying, risky, exciting life change here)?”

What’s the worst that could happen if you finally start your side hustle?

What’s the worst that could happen if you take the new job?

What’s the worst that could happen if you end the relationship, move to a new city, or ask for a raise?

This is a really scary question, so most people I know (myself included, at times) want to avoid it. We don’t want to go down the rabbit hole into negativity and despair, because we’re afraid we’ll never emerge.

But after coaching hundreds of people, I’ve found that it’s actually more paralyzing to NOT consider the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is way more terrifying when it’s an unknown. Your fear is really good at making the unknown feel dark, scary, and life-threatening, so it’s time we shine a light on the truth.

As Tim Ferriss says, “Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

{Good thing you’re not most people. 🙂 }

Today, as uncomfortable as it might be, we’re going to go there.

I want you to think about something you’d LOVE to do but haven’t yet — a risk you’re dying to take, a bold move you’ve been wanting to make, or a new experience you want to try.

Got one in mind?

Good. Now, I want you to get real with yourself about what’s stopping you from going for it. What’s the worst thing you can imagine happening if you try?

Here’s an example from a client I coached recently (let’s call her Liz):

Liz is a really smart, driven 20-something woman who wanted to go after a new job within her company, but she was terrified of not getting it and feeling like a failure. She admitted to me that even if she did get the job, she was afraid of not being good at it, and ultimately failing.

I asked her the same question: “OK, so what’s the worst that could happen if you give it a try?”

“Well,” she said, “my company certainly wouldn’t fire me for wanting more responsibility and trying something new. So if I didn’t get the job or it wasn’t the right fit, I’d probably go back to working in my current role.”

You know what we discovered? She was already living her “worst-case scenario.” How liberating! That realization was the push she needed to try something out of her comfort zone.

{Spoiler alert} Did she fail? Nope. And not only that, but she got a big, fat raise.

More often than not, identifying your worst-case scenario is actually extremely freeing. When you look your greatest fear straight in the eye and realize it’s not as big and bad as it originally seemed, you feel like you can do anything.

Who knew fear could be so empowering?

Now we want to hear from you: Tell us (1) one goal or action step you’re nervous or scared about pursuing and (2) what’s the worst-case scenario if it doesn’t work out? {And for you over-achievers out there, here’s a bonus question: What’s one step you can take to mitigate your worst-case scenario?}

Much Love,

Kristen (& Rachel)

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