21 days to… day three

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This is an odd post, because this is an odd exercise. It talks about worst case scenarios, but I suppose it’s showing part of my characgter.

Day three of the course “21 Days to Discover Your Passion”. Today is entitled “Getting Real – Worst-Case Scenario”.

Task 1: done

Task 2 – What are your biggest fears keeping you from taking the step towards finding and living off of your passion?

I have done this exercise before. I don’t believe I have any huge fears stopping me. I think what is stopping me is not knowing what I want to do. And continuing to do the same thing I’ve always done because it pays enough to keep me comfortable.

Rather than trying to invent my own fears, I’m going to address the examples they’ve given.

I won’t make enough money. This might be a reason. Although at the moment, I’m not making any money, as I’m not gainfully employed. It is possible that I haven’t tried anything else radical as it might pay less than what I would get from my usual employment. Indeed, I have worried that as someone who has decades more experience in print than in web or motion graphics, that I might need to take an earnings cut if I pursue the later.

I’m too old. I have recently started thinking of myself as getting old (I’m late 40s). But I don’t think I’m too old to change or find what I want to do. So I don’t feel this is a fear.

Who am I to do something different? I like doing different things.

I am lucky to have a job at all. Why should I go after more? I do believe that I might be too comfortable doing what I’ve done, and too lazy to try something new. So it’s not luck, but maybe inertia that’s stopping me. But that’s not really a fear.

I’ve been a [insert job title here] for years. I don’t have any other skills! I don’t have a problem learning new things. In fact, I like it. So I don’t this is it. Although, the thought of “going backwards”, not being as good at a new job might be a factor.

I invested so much in my education. Am I just supposed to give that all up? Almost the same point. I like getting new education. Not an issue I have.

I may lose my job. I already quit. Not a fear.

I might fail at what I attempt. I’m not scare of failure. You learn by failure and I love learning.

So out of this, I suppose my fear might be the fear of going backwards. Of having to do a job at a lower equivalent level of what I’ve done before.

Task 3 – What stories and worst-case scenarios have you told yourself over the years?

The worst case scenario is the same as the last paragraph, that I might have to take a step (or steps) backwards.

But essentially, my problem is not not wanting to go forward, do something new, do that essentially thing. My problem is knowing what that essential thing is.

So how can I have a worse case scenario of moving in a certain direction, if I don’t know what that direction is.

But for the sake of example, let’s just call this direction “change”. What is the worst-case scenario for change? Being unemployed. It can hardly get worse than that. Being unemployed for a long-time and starting from scratch. I’ve done that at least twice in my life (once when my business failed and once when I settled in a new country).

Task 4 – What is the worst that could happen if you pursue your dreams full out?

The absolute worst.

Again, I could just give the same answer from the previous paragraph.

But let’s take a dream that I do currently have. Although it is still a fantasy, and I’m not sure that I actually want to pursue it. My fantasy is to go to Colombia for a year to max out my Spanish. What’s the absolute worst that could happen.

An awful lot. I could get robbed. Beaten. Killed. Quite morbid, but the question was asked. Is this likely. No. I’ve been to Latin America four times now. I’ve spent a total of over 6 months there. So the fantasy is to spend twice that long there. It is do-able.

What is a less morbid bad scenario. That I would lose my money. I could end up penniless. What would be the solution? Make my way, somehow, back to London and start again. I can always start again.

Task 5 – If by some wild twist of fate, you actually experienced this worst case, what steps would you take to rebuild?

Get very specific. List everything you can and would do to recover.

Come back to London. Probably stay with friends to start with. Find a job. Initially any job. But quickly find one in the field I currently work in, which is well paid. I could then quickly find my own place and start re-building my life. As I said, I’ve done this before.

This was sort of the motivation for leaving my permanent job six months ago. I asked myself “what’s the worst that could happen”.

Task 6 – Now think about what you just read. Does your worst case need to be adjusted?

Yes or No?

No. (I don’t understand why they asked this question).

Task 7 – Given all this, what is your real worst-case scenario?

Now get realistic. Think about your life. Your career situation. Your relationship with your employer. The potential of whatever you might want to build or create.  Spend 10–15 minutes drawing it out in massive detail. What could really happen and how will you deal with it?

The absolute worst case is that I would fail in whatever I would try (which I don’t know yet). So I would either have to try again, or try something different. I may also end up in a worse situation, financially. So I would just have to start re-building my life.

Massive detail? Why? Find a job. Find somewhere to live. Pick myself up, dust myself off. Start again. This is not something I’m scared of.

As I said at the beginning of this exercise, and when I have previously done similar exercise, it is not fear that is stopping me. It’s not knowing what direction to take that is stopping me. It’s very hard to do something full-heartedly, without knowing what that thing should be.

This course is called “21 Days to Discover Your Passion”. I’m on a voyage of discovery.

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