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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. Now, if you’ve ever wondered whether your anxiety about a decision is your intuition telling you “no” or just a fear that you really should overcome, today’s episode is for you. This question comes from Kouros and he writes:
“Hi Marie. I appreciate all the incredible wisdom you share on your show. Here is my Q. How can you tell if the anxiety you’re feeling over a decision is an intuitive no or a sign of a comfort zone you need to break through? Thanks, Kouros.”
Kouros, great question, my friend. Most of us have had that experience of facing a big decision and feeling really torn up about it. You know, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a fear that’s holding you back from a growth experience versus an intuitive hunch that’s actually saving you from a big, expensive mistake. You know, whenever I found myself in that position, and it happens often, there are 4 tests that I put myself through to help myself get clear. So I want to walk you through each one of them.
Test number one is a physical test. So here’s what I do any time I’m faced with a decision and I feel a little bit torn about it. I always tap into my physical body and I ask myself the question, do I feel expansive when I think about this or contracted? So this is really subtle. You have to really pay attention to your inner sensations. And when you ask the question whether or not you want to do something, if you feel an instant sense of dread or heaviness or something in your body just going no or you actually notice your body subtly moving back, those can all fall under the umbrella of feeling contracted. Now, on the other hand, you might ask yourself do I want to do this, and all of a sudden inside you notice a very subtle shift where something feels lighter, something feels brighter. Perhaps your physical body actually moves forward. Or even if it sounds a little scary, something in you just feels bigger. That would be an example of something that is expansive. So clearly, contraction for me is a big no and expansion or expansiveness is a big yes. Now, for me this is really the most important test there is because I believe there is intelligence that lives in the physical body that bypasses your mind, your logic, and your ego. You know, Shakira says my hips don’t lie and I would like to extend that to say your body doesn’t lie. But I know that everyone is not exactly like me and perhaps you don’t quite have the facility to feel your truth physically yet, in which case this next test might be for you.
Test number two, WCS or worst case scenario test. So this one is fairly straightforward, but you would be surprised how many people don’t take the time to really drill down into the worst, worst, worst case scenario that could possibly happen as a result from any decision and see if they can actually deal with it. So Kouros, when you feel that pit in your stomach, here’s what I want you to ask yourself. What is the very worst thing that could happen if this decision turned out to be all wrong, like way wrong? And then here’s the part that most people miss. How exactly, specifically, would you deal with it? So I don’t want you to just say this out loud or think through it in your mind. I want you to actually write it down. What is the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen and what would that mean to you emotionally and mentally and financially? So is it a matter of losing some money, could you lose your job or your business? You know, sometimes the worst thing that could happen is that you’d be embarrassed or humiliated or wind up with no pants.
You know, this really isn’t that bad. It’s kind of got a nice breeze.
Once you write down the very worst things that could happen, here’s what I want you to do in addition. I want you to write down the exact steps that you would take to get back on your feet. In other words, what I want you to do is deal with that worst case scenario in advance. You know, when we actually do this and write everything down, we realize that even if the decision was the worst thing in the world and everything went to hell in a handbasket, there would be something we could do to lift ourselves up and get back on our feet. So once you write all of this down, the worst thing that could possibly happen, if it’s beyond what you’re willing to risk, then I gotta tell you, you’ve got your answer. Don’t do it. But if you do all these steps and you’re still a little bit confused, I want you to try this next test.
Test number three, the BCS: best case scenario. Ok, so now that you’ve faced down the very worst things that could possibly happen, we want to look on the flipside. Let’s look at the best case scenario. This is a fun one. So in other words, think through what are all the possible payoffs that might come from saying yes to this decision? Will you finally start living that dream you’ve been talking to yourself about forever? Will you maybe learn a tremendous amount about yourself? Will you grow as a human being? Are there financial upsides or creative upsides or freedom upsides that can only come if you take a chance and say yes? So don’t just run through this in your head. Once again, I want you to write it down. Make it clear, make it specific, make it detailed, make it super concrete. So these first three tests that we’ve just talked about should help you find tremendous clarity. And these are great, especially if you have to make a decision and you have to make it fairly quickly. But there is one more really useful test that you need to know about, and this is another one of my favorites.
Test number four is called the work it test. This is a really good one if you’ve been vacillating for a long time about something and trying to figure out in your head. This one will give you your fix. So it’s based on one of my life mantras, clarity comes from engagement, not thought. You see, when it comes to a lot of big life decisions or business decisions, sometimes you just can’t figure it out in your head and you can’t even figure it out on paper. You have to find a way to experience it. So I want you to ask yourself, is there some way that you can test drive this opportunity? Can you take a first step? Can you take a class? Can you do a test run in some way? Can you try it on a small scale, even if it’s just an experiment?
So for example, if I was considering, let’s say, moving to Sicily, I wouldn’t just pack up my things and sell my house and jump on the next plane to Palermo. Right? I would figure out a way first to perhaps, I don’t know, rent an apartment. Try living there for a few weeks and see what it actually feels like to work there and walk around the neighborhood and eat spaghetti every night. The same thing is true with, let’s say, changing careers. Can you find a way to do an internship or a test project or take a class in that field before you quit your job and announce to the world that you are leaving your profession?
You see, the beauty of the work it test is that you can try something out before you go all in. And, I’ve gotta tell you, whatever decision that you wind up with, know this. Despite our fears, most decisions, they’re not permanent. Most things you can stop or evolve or reverse. Or, in the words of the great Missy Elliott:
“Is it worth it? Let me work it. I’ll put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it.”
Wait, no. Wait. That’s not how she said it, right? I think it’s more like this.
Missy is also known for saying, “Ra ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta ta ta. Work it. I need a glass of water.”
And with that, Kouros, that is my A to your Q. Now my friend, I would love to hear from you. Do you have a decision that you’ve been mulling over lately? Well, you’ve got 4 different tests to try. I think the most exciting and the most activating to share about in the comments is the BCS test, the best case scenario test. So here’s what I want you to do, in the comments below let me know the specific exciting payoff that is likely to come from you saying yes to something you’re considering.
Now, as always, the best conversations happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com, so head on over and leave a comment now. Once you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our email list and become an MF insider. That means you’re gonna get instant access to an awesome audio I created called How to Get Anything You Want and you’re going to get some exclusive content and special giveaways and personal updates that we don’t share anywhere else but our email list.
Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.
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I have my lines memorized.
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Bam! We’re gonna have some dancing next.