My Mom told me I was allowed to write about this. She knows I got it from her and until a few weeks ago, she was even proud to pass it on, but now we are both pausing to reflect.
We are bet hedgers.
One of the most comforting slogans my mother offered me growing up was “what’s the worst that can happen?” That line has stayed with me and I am sure I have fed it to my children and clients and dear ones many times over the years. Why does it comfort me so much? It lets me experiment with feelings of failure (rehearse them even), and knowing I could survive gives me relief. It forces me to focus on how far I have come and how much I already have. The risk I am about to take seems less scary.
Maybe some examples can help explain my flavor of mental bet hedging.
I was about to go to my first TV shoot and I was out-of-my-mind scared. Mom breathed through it with me as I played out all that could go wrong, even down to being fired and letting the whole project go. I did feel relieved, but I also felt a little funny allowing myself to think so negatively.
Another example is I weigh myself every morning. As long as I am in my weight range I can have a treat if I want. Some mornings, like holidays, special occasions, or when someone has made something and is bringing it to me, I know I will want a treat. And on those mornings I stand in nervous anticipation of the number on that scale. Will I or won’t I be able to eat that yummy thing? So I rehearse what it would be like to fail: how I would say “no” to the food offers or what substitutes or options I would/could have at the special occasion. All of this is meant to soften the blow of possible disappointment, but it surely isn’t empowering!
In both examples, there is a desire or a dream of having excellent results. There are signs of a very committed and passionate woman with lots she wants to accomplish and very high standards for herself (that’s me). So the question is, do these mental manipulations, these head games I play with myself to lessen my fear, help spur me on or get me further away from the real fight?
Manifesting, which I teach and believe, says basically what you think about, you get. So how can I still indulge in this justified negative thinking given what I want to achieve? Why would I think about and invite the “worst that can happen?” This sure ain’t using the law of attraction properly, is it??
Here is my analysis to date: in regards to my deepest dreams, rehearsing failure doesn’t get me closer to success, but it does make me feel better in the moment. The exercise does get me present and more grateful for how far I’ve come, but if I stopped there, I wouldn’t get to my dreams anytime soon. Thank goodness my coach sweeps in to say “Huh? It makes no sense to be betting on the ‘other team’ at the same time as betting on yours.” And thank goodness my mom calms me down enough so I can hear my coach. It takes a village!
While I’m expressing gratitude, let me also acknowledge the power of practices that keep me conscious and public about what I am thinking, so my chicken always gets caught in the act- fast!
Now that my mother and I have discussed the dynamic, we can monitor it closely (laugh at the chicken) and make sure we are both using our minds optimally in honor of our dreams.
Without awareness, we can’t start to design. And though we often think others won’t want to play along with our growth, most likely, they do. So this week I challenge you to out your negative dynamics. These questions will get you started:
• Where are you betting against your dreams?
• Who is your “worst-case-scenario” buddy?
Wanna call attention to them in honor of your dreams? Let us know what happened by sharing on my blog.