I have found these two words to be very powerful in my life.
Often, we are worried about things turning out in an unfavorable way. Be it our academic scores or the choice of our line of education or a career break or a promotion prospect or the results of a decision, Life is fraught with uncertainty.
Things may not work out the way we planned. So what! We can always go back to the drawing board of our Life and plan again.
Decisions in times of uncertainty
I still remember the time when my son was going for his Masters to the UK. We did not want him to feel the pressure – the pressure of the huge investment, of choosing a particular line of education, to study within a different education format, and of having to do well in an alien country.
None of us had any idea of how it would turn out.
As he was preparing for his departure to the UK, I had a conversation with him. I told him that whatever may be the results of this ‘experiment’, we will take it up from that point. We will recalibrate our life based on the results, whatever that may be. This was my ‘So What!’ conversation with him. I could spot that sense of relief in him.
You are not walking on a high-wire
During my coaching assignments, I do sense that many people feel that in Life or in their career, they are walking on a high-wire without a safety net. Their perception of risk is high. On the one hand, this creates a lot of stress and on the other, a lot of people delay critical decisions, not sure how things will turn out.
In my own experience, Life turns out much better than we imagine. My Quote #164 says,
‘Fear is magnified by imagination.’
I have been there where you are today
In my 35+ years of work life, there have been several instances where I was worried about how things would turn out. I felt disempowered and not in control. With that unpleasant and tight feeling in the stomach, and that feeling of nervousness, I would be constantly thinking about the results of my action or inaction. Sometimes, it was about the action or inaction of others that would have a bearing on my Life results. It was as if a suspense movie was running in a continuous loop in my head and I couldn’t stop it.
However, when I got used to ‘So What!’, it opened up a whole new perspective of risk-taking.
I would prepare well before I took a decision and once the decision was taken, I was ready with a ‘So What!’ in case things didn’t turn out the expected way.
Life is all about choices
Armed with my ‘So What!’, I have taken many turns in my life leading me to fascinating places. I have met new opportunities that have shaped my work portfolio in ways I would have never imagined. It has made me take many life decisions with ease. As a result, a breeze of fresh air blows through my life every single day.
Will this continue forever? I have no idea. If it doesn’t, ‘So What!’
In my coaching assignments, although I work with a coaching framework, I leverage my life experiences to coach my clients to make it very practical and real for their specific context. My coaching is not about leaving the client with a theoretical construct.
For instance, in a recent case, when I spotted the fear of risk-taking in the client, I worked with her to list down all the eventualities that she could think of as a consequence of that decision. Once she made the list, I could clearly see that some were far-fetched eventualities. I asked her what percentage of times her fears have come true when it came to such eventualities. Her response was, ‘less than 5%’. Using this statistic, she recreated the list and we realized that for most of the realistic eventualities, she could create a Plan B. In other words, a ‘So What!’ She went ahead and took that decision and it has worked for her. An external perspective helped.
In my mind, the opposite of ‘So What!’ is ‘What If!’. What if this or that happens!
‘What If!’ keeps us stuck in life. It leads us to worry and stressed like a deer caught in the headlights – paralyzed and unable to move.
If you wish to liberate yourself from ‘What If!’ and move to ‘So What!, do remember that the external perspective of a coach helps.
Get in touch with me at [email protected] Let me help you move to ‘So What!’.