Anytime I so much as think about doing something new, different, untested, the first question that usually sweeps through my thinking is:
What if it fails?
Which seems so close to, What if I fail?
Then my ego – which never likes to fail – gets all ginned up, and the question shifts to an undeniable statement: It will fail. I will fail.
And this is all a terrific way to slam the door in the face of anything new, different, untested before it even gets out of the gate.
I’m doing some thought re-engineering now. The instant some wild idea comes to me, the first question I’m trying to ask is: What if it succeeds?
Which seems close to, What would it take to make it succeed?
Which gets not my ego, but my energy marshaling towards the paths I could explore to get this thing to work. Because I’ve entered, now, into the realm of taking this wild idea and, in turn, myself, seriously.
It’s been a radical process. And I want to emphasize process; the process of a mind relearning how to think about something. It’s not a flip that’s switched once and instant transformation, it’s a flip that – for me, at least – I have to switch again and again.
But, I’ll tell you, it’s been so worth it. To greet a buoyant, untamed, should-be-impossible thought with, What if it succeeded?