Better or safer? Because you can’t have both!
Are you someone who wants better? Or safer?
Seth Godin, in his book “Leap First”, explains that we all fit into one of these two camps.
You either want better and thus make choices such as leave your job or re-train to start up your own business, so you have more freedom or increase your income or want to make a difference in the world.
Or you want safer and make decisions to stay put in a job or a relationship you don’t really like but it feels safer to stay than it does to make a decision to change.
I know I’m simplifying here with my examples. But my point is that you can’t have both.
If you want Better, then you are going to have to do stuff that is different, difficult, hard, out of your comfort zone … stuff that people will judge you on and give you feedback that you don’t particularly like.
And when you become fearful of this feedback – of being judged – then quite often Safer thinking starts to kick in. Safer and Better are like water and oil; you can mix them up with a good shake, but very quickly they separate. You simply can’t be Better AND Safer all of the time.
I’m opening up my infamous 10 Day Conversation Challenge on Monday (you can sign up below – it’s FREE!) and I asked in our Facebook community “what fears or concerns do you have about picking up the phone to someone to talk about your business?“
I wasn’t surprised by the answers:
“Imposter syndrome – I worry that I’ll sound like I don’t know what I’m doing and/or that I’m not suitably qualified to do what I do.“
“What if they think I’m a nuisance?“
“What if I lose their respect or they think I’m not professional?“
“I always worry that people think I ramble and don’t know what I’m talking about – or they will ask me something I don’t know!“
“That I’ll sound lame… Hi ‘I’m a globally recognised expert in XYZ’ but I don’t have staff so I am calling you myself to sell you training.”
The list went on and on.
All genuine worries and fears that I am sure aren’t a surprise to you. We all have them. It’s part of being a human; we don’t like people judging us.
The difference to what makes some people ignore these thoughts so they can do the stuff that is different, difficult, hard, out of your comfort zone, is that they see them for what they are: stories.
As one member of the group wrote: “Logically and written down, these are all complete nonsense.“
All complete nonsense.
Stories you choose to make up in your head.
Now I’m not going to pretend that you won’t have someone think you are a nuisance. I’m not going to pretend that some people will put the phone down on you and you’ll feel initially crushed and stupid … but the chance of this happening is far less than having a conversation that turns out good – and for both parties.
What if the person you call doesn’t think you’re lame because you’re calling them yourself to sell your training. What if they thought:
“Wow, XYZ herself took the time to call me … I must be special … I’m so pleased I got the opportunity to speak to the guru who would deliver the training that I know my team needs … delighted to have got such fab value and I’m confident now that my investment with XYZ’s company is going to pay off big time.”
OK … that probably sounds like I’ve been on Prozac, but the reality is that the actual story going on in the other person’s head is probably somewhere between the two. They will be pleased to have heard from you if you have something of value to say or offer.
If you do babble incoherently then, of course, they’re going to put the phone down at some point. Yes?!
And before you let new stories of “but what value can I offer, I don’t know my stuff” run riot in your head … STOP … there you go again.
You’re going into Safer mode and you’ll get stuck staying small, going nowhere fast when what you want to do is play the Better game, don’t you??!