Imagine this: You’re telling a friend about what turned your day upside down, and at the end of your heartbreaking story, she responds with a “So what?”‘Don’t lose hope in the friendship, yet. Instead, you should thank your friend for teaching you a very effective personal management tool.
In his book “Flip the Script
,” Bill Wackermann says that when you hit an obstacle, stop and ask “So what?” and see what happens.
“It will help you pursue opportunities that may seem out of the norm but that have extraordinary potential, and it will be an important approach for crafting alternative solutions to challenges that arise seemingly out of nowhere,” he writes.
Here’s what asking yourself “So what?” does to your mentally:
1. It frees your mind from being stuck so that you can see new alternatives.
2. It stimulates fresh thinking and renewed focus.
3. It helps you create new strategies and contingency plans.
When you think about your plans, think about the worst-case scenarios and then ask yourself “So what?”
For example, if you take a risk, and you become the biggest laughing stock in the industry, “So what?” What actually happens might be a lot better than your “fear of the unknown.”
“Once I had put all of the worst-case scenarios, the one where I lost my job and no one would hire me. I was able to put that fear into a rational context,” Wackermann writes. “I also countered it with a positive variable: certainly I would be able to find another job. I was talented and hardworking and had built a solid team of players who would follow me.”
So what if you’re taking a huge risk and you don’t really know what you’re doing. Every successful person probably felt as though they didn’t know what they were doing at one time.
Asking yourself this will bring you back to reality and ultimately make you a more strategic person.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.