July 2012 | On My Mind

by Rhee Gold

What’s keeping you from doing what you know is right? Are you giving others that power? You are if you ask yourself questions like these: “I know I need more space, but I’m afraid my clients won’t follow me if I move my school. What if I lose my business?” “What will the parents say if I let that teacher go? And will she start teaching for the school up the street? Will she be mad at me? Gossip about me or my school?” “If I decide not to teach that class next year, will my clients go elsewhere?”

And even if the answer to such questions is yes, will the result be as bad as you imagine? Certainly the worst-case scenario you can envision could happen, but most likely it won’t.

I’ve learned the hard way that allowing life’s “what ifs” to overpower my instinct about how to handle something is actually more stressful than any possible result of the action I’m questioning. Most times my instinct is right, which eventually leads me to deal with the situation however it plays out. But sometimes all that stressing means that when I do finally take action, I don’t handle the situation with the professionalism I should. And that failure on my part can result in my biggest fears being realized. I have succeeded in sabotaging myself.

Often we worry about things that never come to pass, and sometimes the payoff of the action in question is far better than we ever thought it could be. Maybe your students will follow you when you move to a new space, and maybe that move will bring you even more students. Maybe, when you finally fire that teacher, parents and students will ask you why you didn’t let her go sooner. Maybe the fact that she does start teaching for your competition will actually be good for your business. Now that school owner will have to deal with the headaches she once gave you.

Let’s say the students love the new teacher who took over the class you gave up. And what’s more, you now have the chance to enjoy some time off or focus on growing your business. Don’t you deserve that?

Each new season brings with it the chance to begin anew. Let everything you learned last year and in all the years before be your motivation to embrace change. Let your fears go. Do what you need to nourish your soul and create a better future for yourself and your students. I’ll bet that in all your worrying, you probably don’t wonder what might happen if everything turns out just right.

Start wondering.