The Choose You™ project offers us the awareness that we have a choice, but having a choice can feel scary and often requires us to be brave. One of the first things that may come in to our head may start with “what if…?” and to deal with that we need to be able to be objective.
One of the Choose You™ tools (they are all outlined in the blog of 06 02 15) is:
Objectivity. That sometimes you just need to see what is actually happening, right now, and work with that, rather than with the beliefs that you have carried around for a very long time. Then you can really see Yourself, and grow your Openness and Understanding.
On a day to day basis we do brave things and face up to our “what ifs” all the time. We have choices about whether we do something or not, and knowing that it might hurt, make fools of us or go wrong often doesn’t deter us. Without this would we ever cross the road, make a presentation or do any of the things we do that could go wrong?
Over the past couple of years I have chosen to tackle my “what ifs” head on by saying yes much more often. This doesn’t mean that I end up doing everything, but I have fought my initial instinct to say no to something at the first point of contact. At that moment it may seem too scary, not match my beliefs about what I can do or may seem beyond my skill set, but I start by saying yes, and then I explore how I could do it, make it work and make the best use of the bit of me I need to be able to do it well. I step up and really explore. Only then, if after all that thought and exploration, I don’t want to do it, then I say no. And you know what? I am capable of so many things that I would in the past have said no to straight away, (writing the book upon which this blog is based is an example!) and I have had so much fun pushing the boundaries and pushing myself.
Just because you say yes to something doesn’t mean that, later down the road when the research has been done, it is not possible to say no. Life is not black and white. It is full of exploring and wondering. It is full of doors that you can open and have a peek inside.
One of the most unusual things that I said yes to a while ago was an enquiry from a US TV company inviting me to be involved in the production of a reality TV show. It came about because of some team development work I had done in California which happened to be located at a beautiful outdoor venue used often as a TV location. The executive at the TV studio had heard what I was up to and wondered if I could be the ‘technical expert’ on a show where two competing families would undertake tasks and experiences, with the idea of watching how relationships developed and individual confidence grew. How exciting was that!!!
But when I got that email my absolute initial response was ‘no way!’ Lots of self-doubt and a long list of all the things that could go wrong kicked in. I know nothing about the TV industry let alone what they would expect of me on this particular project. My head filled with lots of “what ifs” including: what if they realise they have got the wrong person: what if I am no good at it: what if I look stupid: what if they think my ideas are rubbish: what if it all goes wrong? But I chose to say yes and for a while the exciting and scary prospect of working in TV land existed.
Now the project didn’t come together (the studio decided not to fund the idea) but there is good news in there: it wasn’t my self-doubt and “what ifs” that held my involvement in the project back. I had a great experience exploring and wondering about using my expertise in a completely different way.
To explore and wonder you have to say yes to start with. If you say no at the start then that new door never opens even a little bit and you will never know if you could have: you never have the opportunity to choose.
There are things in life of course that we need to say no to, objectively, because they are dangerous or bad for us and those we love. But many of the things we say no to or allow our self-doubt to rule over are not because of real dangers but because of fears we keep in our head.
And the great news is that the thing we have most control over and most choice about is our self and what we keep in our head. Our ability to develop our Objectivity, to really see what is actually happening, right now, and work with that, rather than with the beliefs that we have carried around for a very long time, means that we can give ourselves choices that we may not have known we had before.
And that is what the Choose You™ project is all about.
What stops you saying yes more often and prevents you from exploring what you are truly capable of? What would you like to do about that?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the Choose You™ project and your examples of Choose You™ moments, so if you would like to share please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading this blog. I am enjoying sharing the Choose You™ project and it is lovely to hear that so many of you enjoy reading about it. Do please forward this blog on to anyone you think may be interested.