Flip It! Transforming Fears into Hopes
ACTIVITY: Flip It!
TIME COMMITMENT: 10 minutes
MATERIALS NEEDED: pencil/pen, this worksheet, and a quiet place to think
TIP: Once you have your fears reframed as hopes, pick one or two hopes, write them on post-its, and place them around your house or office to give yourself a daily reminder of your wishes for the future you're creating for yourself.
Often our wayfinding journey begins with knowing we want to make a change. But change is scary, right? Why is that? Because committing to a change for our future is asking us to take a creative risk. It’s putting our stake in the ground and saying, we want something more/better/different. And that takes courage.
Does that mean the change isn’t worth making? Of course not. So, what do we do?
Today we’re sharing a fast but eye-opening exercise to help you get to the root of your fears and reframe them as hopes for your future.
Now, anyone who’s worked with me knows that one of my favorite activities in a workshop is something I call 'Hopes and Fears'. Maybe it’s the inner classroom teacher in me just dying to get out, but almost nothing makes me happier than gathering a bunch of grown adults in a room and making them to talk about what scares them! (I’m joking, sort of)
Recently I stumbled upon an amazing site called Gamestorming, created by Dave Gray. One of the games on Dave’s site is called Flip it! - and I realized that it’s very similar to the exercise I’ve been running, only with a much cooler name.
So, today I want to introduce you to the Wayfinders Collective version of Flip It! (and thanks Dave for the inspiration).
Download Flip It! here.
I’ve often found that one thing that helps my fears feel less scary is actually talking about them. Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. The minute I say my fears aloud, or even write them down, it’s like the power gets sucked right out of them. Suddenly, they go from being fears to being challenges I can work with.
So, in Flip It!, our first to-do is to consider all of the scary, terrifying, nerve-wracking things that could happen if we decide to pursue the change we’re seeking. These could be about money (will I make any if I decide to quit my job and freelance?), reputation (what will my parents and friends think if I start over?), qualifications (who am I to think I know anything about this?), or something altogether different.
When I began to explore launching Wayfinders Collective, a lot of these fears were my fears (and I had lots more). But I found that writing them down actually relieved a lot of my anxiety very quickly. All of a sudden, I could name my fears and I felt ready to do something about them.
Which brings us to our next step: reframing fears as hopes. Rather than seeing your fears as nerve-wracking obstacles, how might you reposition them as wishes for what happens when you begin to make progress in this new direction? This means transforming your fears about money, reputation, qualifications etc into hopes: saying to yourself, the money I need to pay my bills will present itself in new opportunities; I’ll inspire myself and others by pursuing a more authentic path; or, I know what I know and can find the help I need when I need it.
Take some time now to sit quietly, working through your fears and playing with how to transform them into hopes and wishes for your future. After you’ve done this reframing exercise, check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Did the anxiety you initially felt dissipate at all? Do things feel more ‘doable’ now that you’ve tapped into your hopes, too?
Next, consider which hopes are most inspiring for you and how you can hold onto them and remind yourself of them – maybe writing them on post-its to place on your bathroom mirror for a morning pep talk, or asking your friends and family to remind you of them when you’re feeling discouraged.
I recently heard the idea that FEAR stands for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. While I don’t believe that all fear fits under this definition, it’s a good reminder that not all of our fears are grounded in objective truth. Fear should never be given keys to the car, let alone allowed in the driver’s seat. My hope is that Flip It! can be one helpful way to name your fears, see them for what they are, and then get back to the business of creating the life you want for yourself.