What happens if ... ?!
The flip side of asking, 'What happens if I do X?' might be 'What if X happens?!'
That's what a chorus of monsters have been wailing, off-key, unfortunately.
What if we have nothing to post tomorrow?!
What if our Secret Play Date this week is a fail?!
What if no one signs up for this month's Society of the Secret Play Date?!
What if all our clients disappear?!
What if we can't get everything done to keep these disasters at bay?!
me: That's a lot of worry.
monsters: You betcha!
me: Wait, so now you sound like Sarah Palin? How can you be so chipper and so worried at the same time?
me: Nevermind. You know, we always worry that we'll have nothing to post. Then we start writing and guess what? We have tons to post. Have you noticed this phenomenon?
monsters: Yes, but this time might be different!
me: Sure, it might be. But the record shows that we usually have something to say. You can keep worrying, but I'm going to trust that I can write something for tomorrow.
monsters: Whatevs. You'll see.
Play Date anxiety.
me: Why are you worried about our Play Date, of all things?
monsters: Because! It doesn't always go smoothly for you! You have a responsibility to the Play Daters to model a good experience!
me: You know, I disagree. I think what's helpful to the Play Daters is for us to model an experience, not necessarily a good experience.
Sometimes I get anxiety in the middle of a Play Date. Sometimes there are unexpected twists and turns. It could happen to them, too, and it's helpful to show that there's no wrong way to do it.
monsters: But what about the Society of the Secret Play Date?! What happens if no one signs up?
me: First off, you clearly haven't checked our sales figures. Isn't that on your to-do list?
Second, If that were the case, we'd have information. Not a disaster. Information. Maybe it would tell us that meetings should happen every other month. Anyway, there's no need to panic. People are play-dating with us.
monsters: But what happens if we lose all our clients?!
me: The hell? How? Oh, nevermind.
Would it help to have an emergency plan in place?
monsters: Maybe ...
me: Well, if we somehow lost all our clients in one blow, we might follow up with them to find out why. Maybe there was some misunderstanding.
And then we would look at the ways we connect with them, and start tweaking.
What happens if we change the wording of something?
What happens if we fiddle with our pricing?
What happens if they hear from us through the mail rather than online?
What happens if we reconnect with former clients?
This is how things work. You try one thing and you tweak. You observe the results. You look at what has worked and not worked in the past.
That's our emergency plan.
monsters: But what happens if we don't have the energy to take care of everything?! Everything!
me: I can't answer that because it may happen that we don't need to do certain things. We may think we do now, and we may find that we don't.
I can't look at your worries and say here's a definitive list of things I will do to take care of them. We just have to start with something. Keep asking, what happens if I do this? What happens if I do that?
That's all we can ever do. Okay?
monsters: Okay ... [grumble grumble grumble]
Do you talk to your monsters, your worries, your insecurities? I'd love to know how that goes.