Just met a client who is so worried about her next phase in life. She stands at the crossroad, not knowing which direction to proceed. She is unsure of where the different paths will lead to, as it seems every path carries a risk of uncertainty. The struggle of not being able to make a decision, and get on with life is so frustrating and draining to her.
I believe that many of us faced this similar situation in our life too. I’m sure you know that the crossroad is a very unsettled place to be in. You wish to get out of there as fast as you can, but at the same time it is so tough to move on.
At this moment, you probably wish that someone can give you an answer, someone can point a direction to you. You wish that you could just follow that direction without analyzing. But it is never that easy. No one can provide you with any answer except yourself.
Though you may not be able to stop worrying, you can actually minimize the worry. Below are 6 big questions to ask yourself when you are worried. So answer these questions seriously, for they are create to give you a peace of mind.
While explaining the 6 big questions below, I use starting a business as an example to paint the picture clearer. With the example, you would be able to grasp the application of these questions.
What is the worst that could happen?
Question No. 1 set your stage. Answering this question provides you the clarity of how bad the situation can go. Knowing the situation allows you to prepare for it.
Example: The worst scenario of starting a business is to get into debt.
What would I do if the worst scenario really happens?
This question gets you to look at the action plan if the worst scenario happens. Most of the time, we focus too much on the worst scenario, and forgot that we can have a plan if it happens.
Just like any project management, a good Project Manager will have alternative plan when the worst scenario happens.
Example: I find out three persons who will be able to help me tide through the difficult times, and ask them for support. I have to increase my sales and marketing effort by 100%. (This happened to me)
How would I lessen the pain and get on with as much happiness as possible if the worst did occur?
By answering this question, you are prepared to get on with life even if the worst did happen.
Example: I would have to change my lifestyle to get on with life. I can take it as a learning experience. Remind myself that many successful entrepreneurs take many trials to finally succeed. (I learned lots from this)
What alternatives would I have?
This question gets you to look at alternative action plan to move on with life. We usually get emotional when things don’t turn out the way we want it. So in case the answers to the previous questions didn’t help, you have a backup plan.
Example: I will look for mentors to guide me. I will look for friends to share my problems.
What can I do now to lessen the probability of this event?
Here you can do something to minimize the probability of this event. All the while you have been focusing on the potential problem. How about shifting away from it to focus on the solution instead?
Example: Do extensive research on the industry. Look for mentors for guidance. Take small steps to understand the market instead of jumping in fully.
What can I do now to increase my chances of achievement?
Now we are really talking about action plan to achieve success. Here you will only focus on moving forward, as you would have already taken care of the downside.
Example: Visit the industry leaders, suppliers to learn about the pitfalls. Create a business plan to clearly identify the market and opportunities. Launch the first campaign to gain feedback, so that I can make correction.
The next step is action. Once you have answers to the questions, go get it done.
If you mentioned that you are going to find a mentor to guide you. Identify the mentor, and call this person immediately. If you mention that you are going to share with a friend about your problem, call this friend. Prepare this friend that if things didn’t turn out well, you will be calling him.
For the ones who can support you financially. Let them know in advance that if you fell into financial dire, you will need their support.
Now focus on the solution and go make things happen.