Overcoming Blocks to Action

In his book The Now Habit, Neil Fiore outlines the six step process below for facing fears and creating safety. His book also contains a very good explanation of the link between perfectionism and procrastination. For these two sections alone I highly recommend his book.

Meanwhile, when you find yourself worrying about failing on a project or losing a job, ask yourself:

1. What is the worst that could happen?

Choose the most dreaded scenario and how likely it is to happen. What would you do if it did?

2. What would I do if the worst really happened?

Where would you get help? What would you do to cope with getting upset and losing control? Then what? After that? And then what? Question yourself until you know there is no event so bad that it can stop you.

3. How would I lessen the pain and get on with as much happiness as possible if the worse did occur?

If the worst happens, focus on shortening the depression and self-criticism by forgiving yourself for being human, vulnerable and imperfect? How would you get back on track with improving your life regardless of how bad things get? What strengths have got you through in the past? What can you learn from your past achievements about coping with adversity?

4. What alternatives would I have?

Consider if you have limited your options by being too rigid. How can you increase your alternatives? There are many ways to be happy and successful.

5. What can I do now to lessen the probability of this dreaded event occurring?

What have you been putting off that once you face, will lessen the worry, make you feel safe and get you into action? Once you have considered the worst that could happen and prepared yourself to cope with that, you are ready to tackle the tasks that are likely to increase your chance of success.

6. Is there anything I can do now to increase my chances of achieving my goal?

Now you have considered the worst case scenario, made plans for how to deal with it if it happens, and discovered you have alternatives, you can ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do now to increase my chances of achieving my goal?”

According to Neil Fiore, true confidence comes from knowing that, having prepared for the worst you can focus on the work that will lead to the best.

How do you overcome blocks to action?

Julie Kay helps you improve individual and team performance by building the strong trusting relationships you rely on for your success. If you are genuinely interested in boosting performance, productivity and profits the answer is just a click away. For more information, just click here

10 Responses to Overcoming Blocks to Action

  • Great post. I’ve started asking what my worst possible outcome could be a lot recently. I’ve found that it’s not usually that bad. And if the worst possible scenario happened, I would probably end up back at where I am right now. Asking this question has gotten me to move out of my comfort zone quite a bit recently.


  • Very informative and helpful Thank you.

  • I have read it twice.. and I like it very much.

    your counsels are very truthful, we should contemplate all possible thing that could happen including our reactions to it. To me it is important to be honest with myself if I fail, this allows me to see how challenges work for good.

    Please keep this helpful articles up Julie!

  • When we face failure as a real option, it becomes much less threatening! Love your list! When we face the worst that can happen with reality and say…Yes, that is the worst case scenario…I can live with that. It takes the fear away. Thanks for the great post!

  • Very interesting. For me #4 is the best: expand alternatives.

  • Great advice! I especially like #1.

    • Thanks Scott. Number 1 is key isn’t it? Often our thinking and action is determined by our fears without us acknowledging a)that we are fearful and b) what we are fearful about. By giving ourselves permission to go to that dark place – worse case scenario – and working though what we would do if that came true we can see that we will always find a way through one way or another.

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