What’s The WORST That Could Happen?

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As a motivational speaker, I live in a constant state of jumping outside my comfort zone. In fact, staying inside my comfort zone is unusual for me. So perhaps moving out of my comfort zone would actually involve staying in it. (Confused yet?)

Anyway…I have this show coming up – Christmas in Prides Hollow – with my concert pianist Joshua Nobles. (How many people can say they have their own concert pianist? Then again, I'm not really sure he knows he belongs to me.)

Anyway…here's the link to the show if you want to check out the details: http://christmasinprideshollow.eventbrite.com/

This project is not a small step out of my comfort zone – it's a BIG one. New kind of show, new kind of audience, new way of getting business, yada yada yada. And with every new project I take on, comes a new dose of FEAR. It's normal. We all experience fear in trying new things. Or at least most of us do. Fear of it not working. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of wasting a lot of money. Whatever.

And here is what I always do when I start to get freaked out. I ask myself "What's the WORST thing that could happen?" And I start imagining it. I know we're supposed to visualize success, and I do – later. But first, I take a little trip into the mine field of things that could go wrong. And I see it through in my mind.

1. Nobody shows up.

2. One person shows up.

3. We lose "x" amount of money.

4. The show is horrible and everybody leaves in the first five minutes.

5. I forget my lines and lose my place.

6. They don't laugh.

7. They laugh in the wrong places.

8. There's a fire.

9. My hair falls out on stage.

You get the picture…..Once I go through these scenarios (most of which Iogic tells me will never happen) I ask myself, "Okay, so let's say this does happen. Then what?"  Then I walk through what would probably happen if any of these fears became a reality. And then I ask myself, "Okay, so if this happens, will you live? If this happens would it be the worst thing in the world? Can you handle it?"

And usually I can. And now that I have faced the fear and seen that the world won't end as a result, I can push it aside and get back to work.

So what about you? Maybe you are looking at a new project, a new dream, something you know you need to do, but it terrifies you. Now I'm going to ask you this question:

What's the WORST that could happen?


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Kelly, although I know your show will be an incredible success, I appreciate the truth of this post. If the worst should happen, I know that you would weave it into the funniest, most heart-felt story ALL of us could connect with and relate to. That's why you're such an incredible motivational speaker. And I appreciate you because you truly walk your talk – pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone to live your truth. I'm speaking next week to a group on a subject that is truly out of my comfort zone. I appreciate the reminder that I too could survive the absolute worst that could happen. Here's to our best!

  2. Oh thank you Kelly, for voicing the fears we ALL have and shining a big light of reality on them.  Showing the really don't have any power over us unless we let them.  Whatever happens – we certainly will live.  And you? Well, if something goes wrong for YOU on stage – then you will turn it into something very very funny.  You are a fabulous example of what it takes to be successful – while being extremely human at the same time.

  3. I love your honesty Kelly!  And, I love how you are always stretching yourself out of your comfort zone because once you do and you experience success (like you always do) then it's easier next time you take on a new, bigger challenge.  I love the list of fears too – I can even see you open an event with 'I'm so glad you are here! I guess my fears of nobody showing up are gone, now if only my hair stays on my head, I'm golden!!!"

    You're a rock star – keep shining and huge kudos for this show coming up!!!

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