What If …?

Last November I sat down at a table at Costa Coffee, opened my notebook and wrote What If …? at the top of the page.  Half an hour later I left with a completely new structure for my coaching business focusing only on those aspects which I’m really passionate about and which I find the most joyful and letting go of the rest. This year I’ve been putting that structure into practice and it has made a radical difference to the way I approach, and feel about, my work.
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What If… questions can lead you to exciting places. They somehow invite you to dream; to be adventurous; they open up doors and take you into the realm of the possible.
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When I work with coaching groups, I often use Roger von Oech’s brilliant Creative Whack Pack, which is designed to jolt us out of habitual thought patterns and allow us to look at what we’re doing in a fresh way. At a recent coaching session I dealt five cards to each person and everyone had the opportunity to relate one or more of their cards to their life. The card that generated the most discussion was the one entitled Ask “What If?”  The card reads:  Put some magic in your thinking by asking ‘what if’ questions. What if animals became more intelligent than people?  What if we had mouths in the palms of our hands? What if we had edible clothing?  Such questions will stretch your thinking and lead to new ideas … What off-beat ‘what if’ questions can you ask about your concept?The key question that emerged from the coaching session, and which really got everybody thinking, was: What If I didn’t care what anyone else thought?  Such a simple question, but with such profound implications. It invites a radical shift towards living a life on your own terms and without the constraint of living up (or down) to the expectations of others. Clearly, unless you’re a hermit you will need to take account of those who live with and around you, but in its broader context this question is truly liberating.Here are a few more to consider:

What if I knew I couldn’t fail?

What if I didn’t have to do it perfectly?

What if I wasn’t afraid?

What if I really believed in myself – what then?

What if anything was possible?

What if I fully stepped into my power?

What if I dared to take a risk?

As I write this Tip, we’re balanced on the cusp of the Spring Equinox a powerful time of natural growth, renewed energy and optimism. What better time to ask yourself some what if questions and do some active visioning of how you would like your life to be this year.

Explore and embrace the possibilities and have a wonderful month.   

© Annabel Sutton, Coaching Tips – 2015

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