What if I throw a big party and no one comes? What if I start this business and I go broke? What if I go to the audition and they don’t want me? These are examples of what Clarity calls “future-tripping”, creating a worst-case scenario about the future rather than a best-case scenario.
I felt myself slipping into this recently and before falling too far down the downer hole, remembered an exercise I learned years ago. I call it Perspective Pie. It goes like this:
On the floor, imagine a large pie containing eight slices. Each of those slices represents a different perspective about a decision, thought, direction, strategy, etc. As you move and stand in each pie section, ask yourself: What’s a perspective I see from here? Create a different scenario in each place. Be expansive with both the best-case and worst-case perspectives. A little humor might also help to see the silliness and the limiting beliefs of future-tripping.
Here’s how it worked with yours truly. After many years of saying I wanted to hire a creative writing coach, I finally did it. Or, I should say, Cathy found the coach and suggested I follow through on my long-voiced desire. On my way to the first appointment, I felt hesitation and yes, fear. My mental Perspective Pie sounded something like this:
Slice One – I shouldn’t do this. I don’t have the time. We have too many projects to get done. Plus, I’m already writing blogs and marketing messages. I won’t have the energy to devote to it.
Slice Two – I need a different creative outlet. Learning a new way to see and communicate would give me more ideas and energy for work. I have plenty of time to spend a few hours a week devoted to this.
Slice Three – I could learn to be a great writer. I could publish a best-selling Pulitzer Prize winner – become so famous, groupies besiege me. I weaken, destroy my life with sex and drugs and end up all alone, dead in a hotel bathroom. It’s just not worth it.
Slice Four – After a few sessions, it’s likely my writing coach will quit because my lack of talent, bad grammar and limited vocabulary will give her a headache while reading my work.
Slice Five – I could become famous by writing a best-selling Pulitzer Prize winner and then write another even better story, and then another. My books could make a difference.
Slice Six – I am finally responding to a long-held dream of focusing more on developing as a writer, a creative writer. This daily focus, in and of itself, is reason enough to do this.
Slice Seven – I will come up with an idea for another book that excites me, gives me incentive to write every day, as I create new scenes, and develop interesting stories or concepts.
Slice Eight – I’m almost 70. It’s about time I have a hobby that attracts me, keeps me happily engaged, and keeps the neurocircuits firing.
If you are allowing a future-tripping attack to prevent you from moving towards a dream, take a slice of your own Perspective Pie. Select the slice that inspires you to move towards your dream and keep going.
Enjoying my Slice Six with my eye on Slice Seven,