When was the last time you asked yourself “What If” without your Fear of Regret leading the conversation?
What if I make a mistake?
What if this is the wrong choice?
What if I give up?
What if I stay the course?
Regret is a powerful force that can either have you stay with a status quo that’s not serving you, or propel you to make the leap into an unknown and unpromised future.
Come on. Letting the possibility of regret run your show? You deserve more. In fact, I’ll bet you crave more.
What Do You Crave?
To be seen.
Constant fear of a bad choice and regret won’t give you any of those things.
At One Time or Another, Almost Everyone Feels Stuck
It’s that feeling of “I’ll never forgive myself if I choose Option A and Option B was the better choice.” Most of the time the story ends with people staying put, sticking things out, telling themselves that what they need is more time. What they really need is to let go of that darn fear of regret.
It’s not only fear of an unknown future the keeps you put but fear that you’ll regret missing out on something that happens where you’re currently planted.
What if you quit a day too soon? A week? A month?
Talk about pressure! No wonder being deeply and totally stuck is such a common experience.
Choosing Change Without Fear of Regret
My husband came to me four years ago and shared a potential work opportunity that would take us from our safe suburban environment around the world. We didn’t labor over the decision and ruminate on the endless ways we could regret the move. We thought it through and opened ourselves to the call for adventure, a broader world view and friends and family thought we’d lost our minds.
Suddenly other people’s fears were being piled on me. They weren’t mine, yet I was drowning in them.
What if you hate it?
What if it’s awful?
What if the violence is out of control?
What if your house is awful?
On and on.
Easy. We’d make another choice and come home. Little in this world is permanent.
That’s when they stared at me like I had three heads. They also would bite their lip and give me a look like “Okay, lady. Have it your way but I know better.”
Turned out that they didn’t.
Change: It’s All in Your Perspective
Your attitude towards change has a heck of a lot to do with your perspective.
My friends were looking while holding the perspective of “things go wrong” while I was holding the perspective of “things go right.”
Perspective is your POV, your way of seeing. Until it shifts, you won’t make the leap.
Shift Your Perspective Using This Mental Trick to Embrace Change
Think about the kinds of what if questions that you typically ask yourself when you feel the pull of change. You know, pondering if you should change jobs, give up your business, end a relationship or move around the world, etc.
Now, imagine a tennis court.
You’re on the left-hand side = fear of regret.
I’m inviting you to walk to the right side of the court = can’t go wrong.
Walk there in your mind’s eye or physically get up and move to the other side of the room.
Good. Take a moment to feel into this new side of the court. How would you feel if you can’t go wrong?
Now you ________________________.
From this place, I’ve got a couple new what ifs for you to ponder:
What if you are exactly where you need to be?
What if your next move, whatever you choose, is precisely the right one?
Whenever you find yourself looking at your life and leadership from the left side of the court, you can move on over to the right. Let go of the fear of regret; change.