I know you’ve been pondering the answer to your greatest challenge. You’ve been trying to figure it all out – coming up with various scenarios, seeking outside opinions and generally racking your brain to get the right answer. But my question is a simple one:
If you knew the answer, what would it be?
Pause. Take a deep breath. And before you read any further (I’m talking to you, the overachieving perfectionist who wants to keep reading because you are sure that I’m about to give you the answer, and you don’t want to waste any time getting to it!), answer this profound, counterintuitive question. If you knew the answer, what would it be?
The bottom line is this: you have an inkling. Perhaps your answer leads to more questions. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing because at least now you are on the right path. In my many years of coaching, it never ceases to amaze me that this question always evokes a powerful answer for clients. I think it’s all in how I ask the question. I ask it in a very unassuming way – light and with a confidence in my voice that communicates I am sure my client will be able to answer the question easily. One client, pondering a major career transition and major long-distance move, was wrought with anxiety about making the right choice. She listed all the cons, what might go wrong, what making the wrong decision might cost her. But when I said casually, “So, if you knew the answer, what would it be?”, she said without hesitation, “I’d take the job. I’d take the risk. I mean, an opportunity like this doesn’t come around often. I could make sure I plan to visit my friends and family regularly. If I make the wrong decision, I’ll just have to make new plans.” Just like that, she had her answer. She already knew. Her internal compass pointed her in the right direction. It was her fear that rationalized her out of the right answer even before she could acknowledge what she really wanted to do.
How about you? What’s the question you need an answer to? Are you willing to give voice to your gut instincts? Even if you are not ready to move forward on your answer yet, at least respect your own nudges enough to acknowledge them. You might be surprised that the answer you’ve been searching for is already here.
My challenge to you:
Pay attention to your inklings.
If you knew the answer, what would it be? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!
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