Conversations at the Crossroads.

On the Verge of Greatness

I was working recently with a client who shared her wishes for her life. She had ideas for a novel. She hoped to find a partner and raise children. She wanted to build a business.

Listening to this, I reacted in the same way I always react to hearing a client’s dreams:

“Great! Now tell me about the journey you will take to make these things happen.”

She paused.

“But… do you really think it’s possible? There are so many reasons why this might not work out. What if I make the wrong move? What if I can’t make enough money? What if…”

A long list of “what-if’s” followed.

This was no surprise. We’ve all got a What-if list.

What if I choose the wrong path?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I can’t make a living?

What if I totally fail?

Our What-if lists, when we’re considering a shift, can launch us into a flat spin. We imagine worst-case scenarios until we’re paralyzed.

In that moment, in spite of what she imagined might someday be her life’s greatest accomplishments, my client’s fears loomed large. I was curious if these fears could be talked down, so I offered for perspective a new “what-if.”

“What if,” I asked, “you are right now just two steps away from your greatness? If you believed that were true, what would be your next move?”

She had a quick answer. She’d had her next step in mind for a while but hadn’t taken it, because the What-if’s had been so noisy. It was this simple: She wanted some assurance that if she started down a path it would be worth it.

Who among us can’t relate to that wish for a guarantee?

Does life offer guarantees that our dreams will work out? Usually not. At the same time, there are often no guarantees that a dream is entirely impossible either. And in the absence of either certainty, with the choice of standing still or taking a next step, there is a reasonable argument to be made for that next step.

You could be two steps away from your greatness.

Try this mindset on for size, and think about where you might be holding yourself back. I’ve got one client this week who is planning to take her next step. Dare yourself to take one, too.

With support and encouragement for your journey,

Founder, The Crossroads Coach

Published January 18, 2016