This question is powerful and consuming at the same time. Depending on what your perspective is, it could be motivating or paralysing. Why is this the first question that comes into your head whenever you want to try something new?
I’m guilty of this as well. I want to live overseas one day but this question consistently raises its head. It’s the gremlin that appears over your shoulder every time you think slightly outside of the box. What if there was no box? That’s how Richard Branson thinks and he owns an island.
Just look at the picture above. When you totally disregard the box, you’ll find a happier version of yourself.
Like you and me, though, Richard Branson isn’t perfect, I’m sure the What could go wrong? question has frequently popped into his head. Cus D’Amato sums this kind of scenario up perfectly.
The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.
D’Amato was the coach of two boxing champions, Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson. His wise words aren’t just limited to boxing. They can be applied whenever What could go wrong? is asked.
Use the fear. Create joy. Suddenly the things that could go wrong can become exciting. They can be used to fuel the fire that is exploration.
In my case, maybe instead of always considering what could go wrong when moving overseas, I should be excited for what will go right.
In the case of someone going on a first date, instead of being worried about what could go wrong, be excited for what could turn out to be a beautiful human experience.
Remember how often your worst fears came true? Hardly ever. Probably never.
The world is a safer place than what it used to be. If you’re reading this, chances are you no longer have to keep an eye out for a saber-toothed tiger coming at you from behind. In the past this would’ve been a real threat, our brains haven’t evolved much since then. That’s why you so often default to the worst possible outcome.
So now instead of worrying about when the next tiger attack is going to occur, you worry about what could go wrong with whatever you’re doing with your life or whatever you want to do with your life. The fear has to go somewhere right? Correct. The fear is not something that will ever go away but remember, the hero and the coward feel the same thing. So instead of dedicating all of that precious energy towards the fear of what could go wrong, use it to foster excitement for what could go right.
Think like the hero, project your fear onto your opponent. Most often, the only opponent is yourself.
Don’t think you’ve got what it takes to become a hero? No one is born a hero. No one is born knowing what is right or wrong. No one is born free of fear. You have the power to become a hero. You have the choice. The choice you make as to whether you’re going to let the fear of what could go wrong be a source of motivation or restriction.
It won’t happen overnight. Like any good thing, it will take time. Practice. It will take consistent movement towards the other side of fear because on the other side of fear is a better you.
Try it today. With whatever you’re doing, however big or however small. Ask yourself, what could go wrong?