Optimise Your Mindset

“What if I fall?” – is this question holding you back?

September 27, 2021
min read

I’ve been practicing yoga for the past 10 years, but I’ve only started mastering ‘ninja poses’, as my husband calls them, over the past 2 years. Why? Because for the first 8 years of practice, I was held back by the question – “What if I fall?”

Two weeks ago I had an interesting experience which highlighted my mindset shift. I was trying to replicate my instructor’s move of jumping from a downward-dog pose into a crow pose and the same question popped up in my head – “What if I fall?”. This time, my response was – “How bad can it really be?”

Well, I fell on my face and had a pretty chunky bruise on my cheek. Was it worth it? Absolutely – I learnt from it and it strengthened my belief that falling isn’t all that bad. Sometimes we fear so much the worst-case scenario to the extent that it prevents us from pursuing fulfilling activities. But the worst-case scenario isn’t always as bad as we tell ourselves.

A quote to keep in mind

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

– J.K. Rowling

How to overcome our fear of falling

What is your fear of falling holding you back from pursuing?

In my practice as a coach, I encourage the inspiring entrepreneurs and startup leaders who I work with to experience that worst-case scenario with the help of their imagination prior to making a decision. In most cases they realise that they are well-equipped to deal with that scenario and that it shouldn’t be holding them back.

Here’s a creative visualisation exercise that you may wish to try on your own:

Find a comfortable seat. Close your eyes. Imagine that you’ve made the decision to pursue the activity that you wanted to for so long.

Now imagine that your worst-case scenario comes true. What actually happens? How does this make you feel? Describe it in detail.

Now imagine taking a deep breath and telling yourself that you’re equipped to deal with this challenge. What do you do next – how do you act in order to overcome this challenge? How does acting on it feel? Describe it in detail.

Having lived through your worst-case scenario – is it really that bad to be holding you back?

Author Portrait
Written by
Mica Vaipan

Performance & wellbeing coach, entrepreneur. Formerly startup founder, tech startup COO and investment banker.

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