But Perhaps, Just Maybe…

In working with my clients, I often will hear fear or worry creep in as it relates to how others view them, or could view them. And so, I’ll hear comments like “My boss is already trying to sabotage my chance of getting promoted because she’s afraid I’ll take her job one day” or “If I reach out to the expert in this venture I’m considering, he’ll think I’m an idiot for even asking such dumb questions” or my own inner dialogue of “Everyone who’s cheering me on is probably just doing it to be nice, and not because they think my work is actually meaningful.” Yep! 


We all do this. We tell ourselves unverified stories and we immediately assume that it’s because we weren’t good enough, smart enough, prepared enough, talented enough, liked enough…you get the point.


Well…I recently stumbled on a powerful tool to call us out on these interpretations, assumptions, limiting beliefs and inner critics. And I found it in, of all places, my 7-year old daughter’s favorite bedtime story.


“But Perhaps, Just Maybe”, by Tuvia Dikman, tells the story of two friends, Duck and Hedgehog, who set off on a journey to fix their broken bicycles at the bicycle shop and encounter roadblocks set up by their friends along the way.


Duck feels annoyed by each roadblock and takes it personally. But not Hedgehog.


When Duck thinks Cat is being rude by whizzing past them leaving them to breathe in her dust, Hedgehog suggests “perhaps, just maybe” she’s rushing off to help an injured family member.


When Duck thinks a boulder put in the middle of the street by Billy Goat was careless, Hedgehog suggests “perhaps, just maybe” he put it there to cover a pothole, and so on.


Once Duck and Hedgehog get to the bicycle shop, Duck learns that Hedgehog was right. Each friend had good reasons for the actions they took. In fact, some of the “roadblocks” that angered Duck were actually in the spirit of the friends welcoming them to a party at the bicycle shop once they arrived!


So… “perhaps, just maybe” we’re telling ourselves a story about what others are saying or thinking or doing. Perhaps, just maybe we could find another belief that could be just as possible (and maybe has nothing to do with us at all).


That client that just hung up on you? Maybe she had a flat tire that morning and spilled her coffee on her white sweater before meeting with the president of her company, and then you called.


That random meeting with a weird title that your boss just placed on your calendar that’s making you assume you need to update your resume? Maybe he’s calling you to thank you for dealing gracefully with one of the toughest clients.


The server at the restaurant who didn’t card you when you ordered a cocktail?  Maybe he needs to get his eyes checked because he clearly can’t see that you still look under 21. Sorry, too personal.


Kidding aside, what assumptions are you making about everyone else’s intentions?  


How is this way of operating getting in the way of what you really want?


What are you focusing on that’s creating negative momentum which is based on conjecture rather than fact?


Perhaps, just maybe, there’s a better way.

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