I lay on my futon in the living room, fighting sleep, waiting to hear the results of the 2012 Presidental election. Finally, the announcement is made… Obama wins! Sweet! If I can just hang in there for a few more minutes I will get to hear my president speak. Time continues to drag on and the statistics are repeated over and over again. The message from the reporters is the same every 15 minutes, “Romney still won’t concede”. Really!? This goes on for what seems to be forever, and I guess my heavy eyelids get the best of me as I hear birds chirping and the familiar sounds of the morning hustle and bustle before I hear a speech from anyone! WTH, Romney!?

The next day, I log onto all my news websites to watch speeches streaming and get the scoop on what the delay was. That’s when I see it. Romney didn’t even have a concession speech written! That’s what was taking so long.


At that moment a light bulb went on for me and I got it!


Or course he didn’t. What higher stakes can you be up against. You’re running to be the President of the most powerful nation in the World. Why would you spend an ounce of your energy focusing on “what if I lose?”.

Look, this isn’t a post on politics. You may not agree with the man’s views or policies, I get that. My question to you is, how many times have you had a dream or goal and instead of going full steam ahead you rationed out some of your energy to be spent on the “what ifs”.

“What if this doesn’t work out?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I look stupid?”

“What if…”

“What if…”

“What if…”

What if you took the energy you put into worrying or planning for what can go wrong and put 100% of your energy into making your dreams come true? I remember hearing an interview from a world famous tight rope walker who was asked, “How do you do it?!”. He replied saying he didn’t give any attention to the idea of falling and only focused on getting across. Sound trite and simplistic. Let’s make it a bit more personal.

Could you walk across a wooden 2×4 placed on the ground? Yes, right? Maybe even with your eyes closed. Just put one foot in front of the other. 

Could you walk across a low balance beam which is 4 inches wide? Probably so. You might be a bit more wobbly but you would make it across.

Could you walk across the same balance beam if it was 4ft tall? Gymnasts do, what about you?

What about the same beam placed between two sky scrapper buildings that stand 600 ft in the air? No?

….and why not? It’s the same size beam, what has changed?

The only element that has changed is what you are focused on. All of a sudden you think, “I could fall”, and THAT is what makes us wobbly, unsure and sabotages the outcome. The beam size didn’t change, just what you’re focused on. Can you see how an simple task, project or idea can go from easy to impossible when we start thinking, “What if I don’t make it? What if I lose? What if this doesn’t work?”. I am all for making calculated risks and making smart decisions. I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that you could be sabotaging your success by spending way too much energy on losing instead of winning!

After all, if you don’t end up “winning” this time, the world has no choice but to wait for you to pick up the pieces, re-strategize and do better the next time. As they say, you can always “cross that bridge when you get there”. So, in the meantime stop spending so much time thinking about your concession speech and start focusing exclusively on your big win!!

I salute you!

(images: hark.com, uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com, talktomeblog.net)

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