The Beatles’ “Let it Be” gave us good advice back in 1970. So when is it best to let it be, and is there a moment when you can’t, or don’t want to? But first, let’s tackle everyone’s not-so-favourite question: What if?
“What if…..” are two words which can prevent us from doing something. The problem with “what if” is that it often comes up connected to a negative thought or belief. “What if it all goes wrong?” “What if everyone hates the idea/me for doing that/I fail/?”
“What if” was more useful to us back in prehistoric times when it prevented us from doing something extremely dangerous, but, in today’s reality we don’t often need to use it like that. 21st century’s “what if” is usually about a minor fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being judged unfairly, fear of looking silly; the list is endless! It holds us back from achieving our goals, and if we keep paying attention to “what if”, those negative beliefs are reinforced again and again. In coaching, we challenge clients: how likely is this? Is this a real threat, or a perceived one? Has it happened before? Is it going to harm anyone? Is it under your control? If the answers to any of these questions are “no”, then you have the power to choose to “feel the fear and do it anyway”, or to whisper words of wisdom to yourself and “Let it Be”, rather than choose to be dominated by that small, negative voice.
But let’s turn this around for a moment, and use “what if” to positive effect. What if I gave this a go? What if I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something completely new? What if I took a chance? What if I turned down something I really didn’t want to do, in favour of something I really did want to do? What if this made a real difference to me, or to someone else? Maybe you might not want to let it be; you might prefer to convert the strategy positively: to go for it.
So, to let it be, or not to let it be? (with apologies to Mr Shakespeare!) Just saying those three small words can make you feel peaceful; it’s a great affirmation to have in your collection. On the other hand, there’s another one: “go for it!” It’s your judgement call, and it will vary. Choose to make your call for the right reasons.