Photo credit: donmaclennan.com
Recently, I made a decision I never anticipated.
Out of the blue, the president of my company faced a family emergency. She was no longer able to travel to Atlanta the next day to pitch an account we had been working on for months. Just as I thought I was about to skate into the weekend, I was in the hot seat to cover. I could either call the prospect to explain the situation and hope our proposal stood strong on its own, or hop in a rental car and drive four hours from Nashville to Atlanta to pitch the account on our behalf. The choice was completely up to me.
The first thoughts that came to mind were all the ways this could go terribly wrong. Driving a long distance in a foreign car gave me panic. I tend to attract crazy drivers that act as if desperately seeking a lifeboat on the Titanic. Needless to say, the trip alone on such short notice was enough to make me want to curl up the in fetal and just say no.
Then, of course, there was the stress and pressure of putting on a compelling presentation by myself to a room of executives. That part I knew I could do with some time and practice, but in only 24-hours, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.
Despite this, I knew I had to say yes. As Reverend Hunter Wade says, fear is a sign that big things are about to happen – growing opportunities. Those words resonated in my mind – this is my career defining moment. And that fear was merely an indication I simply HAD to do it.
So, I accepted, and just as boldly replaced the negative tape of disastrous what if’s with a new script. Every thought that passed through my mind had to be positive and encouraging from that point forward if I had any chance of getting through the day successfully (without peeing my pants).
As I rolled out of Nashville in a souped-up, trigger happy Chrysler, I thanked the Universe for the opportunity. Then I believed the road would open up for me at every turn and a bubble of safety would transport me smoothly to Atlanta.
During the long drive, I visualized myself in the boardroom, talking through the presentation. As the sun set over the Tennessee border, I was closing the presentation in my mind – my words effortlessly morphing into exactly what the prospect wanted to hear – the “um’s” and potential stumbles melting away with the sunlight.
When I arrived safely to the hotel, I posted to my PPC visionaries to send their positive thoughts, knowing our combined forces would stir and vibrate our friendly Universe into alignment.
I woke up the next day without fear or doubt. I felt excited and prepared, playing through the phone conversations I would have on the other side of the presentation hour, recalling my success.
As I walked into the meeting room, I felt empowered, confident and proud to share what our company does for change makers. The statistics, examples, and explanations flowed like fondue. I got back in the car to embark on my journey home feeling so proud for believing not only in myself, but in the power of positive thinking. I was not just practicing positivity; I was owning it.
Just hours later, the prospect sent a rave review to my bosses to share what a wonderful job I did. It may sound egotistical, but even that I envisioned.
Of course, I also saw us winning the account. However, we did not. They loved our work but wanted to go a different strategic direction. Initially this stung, but shortly after, I came to the conclusion the prospect was placed in my pathway for a different purpose than I initially figured. The opportunity was not about winning the business, but rather proving to myself I can do anything I set my mind to. That was the real win – not the end result, but the journey itself. And as someone who believes everything happens for a reason, the timing was simply not right for this partnership, and I feel peace with that.
What fork in the road or major decision are you facing?
Is there a leap of faith you are waiting for the perfect moment to take?
Are your thoughts holding you back or powering you forward?
Don’t sit on the sideline ignoring the inner voice telling you to get in the game. Leap, brave and embrace all the possibilities in “what if.” Because, so long as you have a positive attitude about the situation, you can spin any “what if” into a major win.