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How Could It Go Right?

Don't Stop There

It’s been said that people who anticipate obstacles when attempting goals are more successful because they are ready to meet those issues if and when they arise. If you want to eat better and your sweet tooth typically kicks in while watching TV, your preemptive strike might be to have fresh fruit cut up and ready to grab in the fridge. Makes sense, right? Yet there’s a critical distinction to be made: Planning for obstacles can be helpful, but surrendering to them before they even happen? Not so helpful.

Ever had a potential problem loom so large that it stopped you in your tracks? It can be a slippery slope from predicting possible pitfalls to being intimidated into a what’s-the-use mentality. If what you’re attempting seems challenging or even somewhat unlikely, concocting ways it could go wrong will come easily. Don’t stop there. Remember to also pose the question: How could it go right?


Go for the Spark

In the midst of getting ready to submit her proposal to a company which many said she was well-suited for, Jennifer felt only mildly optimistic. She could easily imagine the polite, standard response she’d receive and her proposal relegated to a sea of others. That’s the outcome that seemed likely and even predictable. “If your proposal was to be accepted, how could you see that happening?” That’s the question I asked Jennifer and, after thinking about it for a moment she said, “You know, it would just take one person reading what I had to say and having it click that what I bring to the table is something unique. That would be the spark.”

From there we explored what could create that spark. The next draft of Jennifer’s proposal was more direct, while still retaining her warmth and professionalism. Her distinct voice came through more clearly. Envisioning how it could go right helped Jennifer in these specific ways:

  1. It significantly changed what she put forth in the proposal;
  2. It gave her new ideas in terms of who would be willing to herald her proposal within the organization;
  3. It got her to take bolder action and focus on the interim milestones to reach on the way to her ultimate goal of doing business with this company.

How Could It Go Right?

For anything you are attempting, don’t allow possible obstacles to diminish your efforts. Instead, make your moves more courageous, creative, and genuine.

  • Name your desired outcome.
  • What are the obstacles you anticipate and how could they be managed successfully?
  • Now picture how it could work. How would you like it to play out? Describe the best possible outcome.

More on this in the next issue. In the meantime, take this question with you this week: How could it go right?

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

© 2010, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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