Are You Already Living Your Worst Case Scenario?

worst case scenario

Do you want to know the exact moment when I knew it was time to leave my job of 10 years? When I told myself “Worst case scenario, if owning my own salon doesn’t work out, I’ll just come back”.

When I thought about my fears of leaving, they weren’t failing, going bankrupt, losing the house, my husband leaving me because I messed up our lives so badly… WORST CASE SCENARIO: I would go back to the life I was currently living. How depressing is that?! Was I living my worst case scenario all 10 years? Of course not, but I had reached a point in my career where I was no longer growing, personally or professionally, and it was time to move on to my next adventure.

Worst case scenario wasn’t failing, because I knew no matter what happened I could survive. If no clients showed up, if I didn’t make enough money to pay my bills, if my husband left because I messed up our lives so badly, I would figure it out. I could make Amazon food deliveries, or Uber between clients when I’m slow, or become a webcam girl (I’m not kidding, I was determined not to fail) the fact that I was considering these options over staying to run a company and having a guaranteed salary meant I wasn’t doing myself, the employees, or the business owners any favors.

Now I hear it all the time from my clients, their worst case scenario of a risk not paying off, is already their current situation.

From interviewing for a new job, to putting an offer on a house, to talking to the cute guy across the bar, if it doesn’t work out, NOTHING has changed. If realizing you’re already in your “worst case scenario” when considering an action step isn’t incentive enough to get your ass into motion, it’s time to do some soul searching.

One of my favorite methods of working through my own bullshit is journaling, and asking yourself the right questions can be life changing. I never encourage my clients to just leap into a new adventure, that doesn’t feel responsible to me, you should always know your opportunities and challenges before altering your life. When you’re considering taking a risk, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clear on some of the challenges you might face:

  • What does failure look like to me? ex: If I start my own nail salon failure would be not booking enough clients to pay my bills, having to close, and subsequently going bankrupt.

  • Besides financial risk, what other fears do I have about failing? ex: If I fail I will be embarrassed that I gave up an opportunity to continue living a pretty comfortable life. I am worried that my friends and family will be disappointed in me, and other people will judge me for not being able to make it work.

  • What steps can I take to make myself more comfortable with the risk? ex: I can save three months of living expenses in case things aren’t immediately successful.

  • If I give my best effort and it just doesn’t work out, what are my options? ex: I could go back to my former job since I left on good terms. I can sell all of my equipment on Craigslist for extra money. I can get a flexible stream of income like Ubering until I figure something else out.

You will usually find that after you’ve completed these journaling prompts you feel more at ease. Putting your fears and worst case scenarios down on paper makes them more manageable, and easier to break down into action steps. You may also discover that your fears are silly. One of my fears before opening my salon actually was that if I failed I would disappoint my friends and family. When I wrote it on paper I realized how stupid it was. First of all, my family loves me, and would be proud of me for taking the risk in the first place. Secondly, if for some reason they were disappointed an reacted negatively instead of being supportive, I would know I need to reevaluate my relationships and remove all of the toxic ones.

It’s cliche, but you miss 100% of the of the shots you don’t take. Failure may may look like not succeeding at the risk you took, but true failure is living your life from a place of fear, never taking any risks, staying in your comfort zone, and doubting yourself out of your best life.

If you need support getting out of your “worst case scenario” I would LOVE to offer you my services. To learn more about my mentorship packages, and group bootcamps, visit my work with me page!

Danielle DeWine