when your could list becomes an excuse

I led a workshop two nights ago, intruding a lovely group of women to the Say, Map, Do framework I guide people in my kickstart Whiteboard Sessions.

A favorite tool within the Say element is The Could List. Oftentimes when a client is feeling stuck it's because she feels like she SHOULD be doing something, or like there are only a couple of options, neither of which feel right. At that point I adore opening up the conversation in to something more expansive and creative, inviting my client to think about all of the things she COULD do in the direction of the change she wants to make.

A could list is broad, wild, impossible. There are no limits. You don't have to DO any of it -- you just let yourself imagine what you could do - and then somewhere, usually on the other side of the whackiest option, you figure out the one you most want

At this workshop, though, I noticed something interesting. An amazing woman, full of creativity and a clear zest for life, was talking about all of the things she COULD do and not knowing where to begin. I've seen this many times, actually -- all the options! "well, I could create a retreat in Paris. Or I could drive across the country. Or I could save up to build that tiny house I've been dreaming of."

And suddenly the could list becomes our jailer. An infinite sea of options in front of us with no clear winner. Just like that we get very comfortable in the excuse of trying to figure out WHAT to do rather than just picking something and doing it.

Has your could list become an excuse for inaction? Has your unwillingness to decide and declare a path for yourself become a safe haven from which you you don't have to take any action?

Could Lister Beware: Indecision can get very cozy.

Allegra SteinComment