What secrets do successful people hold under their hats that you’d love to know?
How do they progress from zero to where they are today?
How can you do the same?
Let’s see how it all starts:
I turned to look at her one last time before I left.
She refused to return my gaze. Her pain was visible.
As I’d made the decision to leave my home in the North of England for the dizzy heights of London, I had no intention of hurting her. But she was hurt all the same.
She was hurt because I hadn’t listened to her advice to stay in the city I was raised in.
She was hurt because she felt betrayed by her own child. How would she explain to the neighbours that her unwed daughter was now living alone?
But most of all, she was hurt because she was afraid for my safety. She wouldn’t be there to protect me.
She was my mother, after all. This reaction was as much chemical as it was emotional.
It took me some time to realise that her hurt was in her control. It wasn’t caused by me, brought on by me, and neither could it be controlled by me.
She created it. She would make it go away.
But this post is not about forgiveness, difficult relationships, or coming to terms with your decisions.
This post is about a subtle shift in mindset.
A mindset that moves you away from simply dreaming, and starting to truly live.
Before I’d decided to move to a new city, I behaved like a victim of my dreams. My thoughts for my future were consumed with what ifs…..
- What if …I had the courage to do what felt right in my heart?
- What if …. moving to London could happen for me?
- What if …. I could start my own business and not have to work for someone else?
And these what if’s? They kept me rooted in the lack of faith I had in my own actions. The fact that I invested more time dreaming, and less time acting, was a testament to this lack of faith.
And all it took was one slight adjustment to the very words inside my mind to impact my entire life.
Instead of thinking what if … I started asking why not?
- Why not take a chance and move to London for a short period of time?
- Why not make new friends when I get there?
- Why not start a website that offers services to help others in business?
And over time, my life began to transform.
It didn’t happen in grand, sweeping accomplishments. As with any big change, it evolved with each, tiny step.
And you can do the same.
First, make a list of everything in your life that you want to change. Make your what if..? list.
Cover everything you’ve ever wished for, from health, money, relationships, and everything else in between. Make it grand; make it small – whatever you choose. Just write it all down.
- What if … I made enough money to send my children to the school of my choosing?
- What if … I learned a new skill so that I can start a new business?
- What if … I could afford a copywriter to make my website so emotionally appealing that sales skyrocket?
Make your list.
What’s Your Why?
Now, next to each item on your list, write down all the things in your life that would change if this thing came to life. How differently would you feel? How different would the conversations you have become? What inner dialogue would you have, and what impact would this have on your confidence?
What impact would it have in the confidence other people have in you?
The reason why we make the list, and then add more visualisation to each item, is that the second part helps in making you bought into the concept.
Knowing what to change is one thing, but the thing that drives you to make that change is a compelling, emotional reason why the change is so important.
What if I learned a new skill to start a business? On its own, this is just a question. But add to it the reason why this is an important change (I could leave my job and work from an apartment in New York/I could see my mum whenever I wanted/I could take a holiday without having to ask for ‘time off’ in the first instance) and the drive to make the change happen increases tenfold.
Which One First?
Pick one thing on your list to focus on that’s going to make a change in your life. Whether you choose something that overhauls your entire life as it is today, or something small – again – it’s up to you.
Pick one thing, and decide what action you’ll be taking today to create shifts in your life. Remember that small, consistent steps lead to big change in the long term.
So using the example of someone wishing to learn a new skill to start their own business: today, this person can decide what market they wish to serve, and list the people that best represent this market.
Then tomorrow, they could set up times to have conversations with these people, to determine what needs they have that a new business idea can be generated from.
Over time, this research will translate itself into a skill this person will need to start a business, and before they know it, they are on the path to working out of New York, just as they’d dreamed.
So today, this is my invitation to you:
What thought are you thinking that begins with what if…. And how different does it become when you decide to ask why not?
How does this make you feel? Defiant? Adamant? Ready for movement?
And more importantly: what are you now going to do?
My ‘why not’ moments? They took me from the North of England, to London, and then to picture perfect Paris, where I now live.
Where will yours take you?
This is a guest post from Razwana Wahid who is the founder of Your Work is Your Life – a copy-writing and online business strategy service dedicated to coaches, consultants, healers and service providers.Top image courtesy of SweetonVeg
I found this post very helpful. I will ask my self, “What if I decide to go out on my own and start my own business?” Why not go out on my own and start my own business. The worst thing that could happen is that I “failed” and that I now have a wonderful experience. Thank you for this fun little mindset shift.
That’s exactly right, Sebastien. All you have to do is try – who knows where you’ll end up….
Tell us more about your business – perhaps we can help you with it?
It takes a lot of years of experience to realize our feelings are in our control, and that our reactions are in our control to situations. Right now my wish is to get out more, travel and see places and yes, I’ve gotten started 🙂
Great post, Razwana!
Thank you, Arvind!
Thank you for your comment, Vidya. Get started – now !