“Sorry, Charlie.”

For many of us these words remind us of Charlie the Tuna who was always left behind by the fishermen in a particular canned tuna commercial.

Yet the phrase has been around much longer than that.

“Sorry, Charlie.” (You’re too short, too tall, too skinny, to be on the team.)

“Sorry, Charlie.” (You don’t have enough experience for this job.)

“Sorry, Charlie.” (You’re just not enough.)

Do these thoughts spin through your head when you are getting ready to try something new? If so, you’re not alone.

Mindset and self-talk are probably the topics most discussed by entrepreneurs, whatever the focus of their business.

It doesn’t seem to matter what we look like, what experiences we have had, or what credentials are hanging on our wall. When we get ready to start something new, whether it is launching a new product or service, writing a book, or giving our first talk from the stage, the “Sorry, Charlie” doubts start creeping back into our heads.

When we let them stay, they take up too much space and distract us from completing our goal.

How do we get beyond these doubts?

I encourage my clients to work with a variation of a table with two columns.

Title the table “Possible Outcomes”.
Head one column “The very worst that could happen if the doubts are correct.”
Head the second column “The very best that could happen if the doubts are wrong.”

Here’s where things get different from the way you have used this type of table in the past. Instead of completing one column and then going to the other, I want you to alternate between columns.

Every time you write something in the worst column, I want you to write something in the best column before you can go back to the first column.

Why do I want you to do it this way?

It goes back to my experience as a parliamentarian (expert in the use of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised). If too many people spoke to one side of a question before people with other opinions had a chance to speak, they frequently kept quiet believing that no one else believed what they did. The organization was poorly served because they didn’t have the benefit of hearing all sides.

When we work on pro and con lists it gets too easy to see only one side of the issue and jump to a decision too quickly.

Taking the time to create this type of table usually takes less time than obsessing about our doubts does.

So, don’t be a “Sorry Charlie.” Be a “Happy Cathy.” Move forward confident in your abilities and your decision.

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Need help working through a worst/best table? Give me a call and let’s talk. Schedule your Enchanted Book Session here.

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