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What If Things Go Right?

Your small lizard brain doesn’t do a great job answering the questions you ask yourself. That little brain is too full of fear. It’s too bent on surviving. It was built for a time when the threats to your existence were very different than the threats you face today.

When you ask the question “What if,” your lizard brain rattles off a list of things that can and might go wrong. Your lizard brain doesn’t see the glass as half empty; it sees the glass as half empty and the half that’s full is poison. It never asks or answers the question “What if things go right?” That’s a question that your larger, higher-order brain has to answer.

What if you fail? Well, what if you succeed?

What if you take the action you fear and succeed beyond anything you imagined?

What if you’re wildly successful?

What if you ask for what you really need and your dream clients says, “Yes.”

What if your dream clients do find tremendous value in what you have to offer?

What if they’ve been feeling the way you expected and have been waiting for someone to tell them truth?

What if you have the difficult conversation you need to have and you come to a better agreement?

What if they love you?

What if you try what you’ve feared, love it, and can’t wait to do it again?

If you only focus on what might go wrong, you end up paralyzed with fear, too afraid to take action. It’s true that many things can go wrong, and there are a million ways that things can turn out worse than you expected. But it’s more often true that things work out better than expected—when you take action, when you try to make a positive difference, and when you believe.

The real threats you face are more likely to be the result of your failure to act, your failure to try. The real threats you face don’t likely threaten your physical existence at all.

Instead of focusing on what might go wrong, focus on what might go right.


Do you focus more on what might go wrong or what might go right?

Why is easier to focus on your fear?

How do you shift your focus to the positive, to what might go well?

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  • Lynn Hidy

    Great article! I always make people say “it’s MY fault – everything went well” if they’re willing to take responsiblity for the bad, take responsilibyt for sucess too.

  • tpappy

    Thanks for giving positivity a spotlight. The simple act of focusing on possibility and actually getting what we want is so refreshing, and a great exercise of retraining the brain. The lizard brain keeps us alive, but the rest of the brain can really help us be more aware of the lizard. Keep the spotlight shining as people want to hear it–we’re all starved for positive and things getting better.

  • Karen E. Lund

    I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I have figured out… Don’t look surprised when you succeed. Pretend it’s what you expected all along. Even if it’s not.
    Especially if it’s not.