I’m happy to share this guest post by Amanda Kruse. She loves writing about real estate, happiness, financial freedom, and frugality. She is a team member on the personal finance site, Women Who Money, and currently works for a family-owned real estate brokerage (ColuzziRealEstate).

Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen? 

If you’ve never asked yourself this question, start today. It’s a magical question that helps you step out of your box. It enables you to see how your mind has been running you in circles, how it has yielded to irrational fear, how it has kept you locked up in your prison. 

Okay, yes, sometimes that worst thing is unbearable to imagine. And if there’s a real chance (keyword: real) that the very worst thing will happen, maybe you should think twice. 

In reality, the chances of that worst thing happening are so small! Look up the stats and see for yourself. For instance, are you afraid of dying in a plane crash? Unlikely. You’re more likely to die falling out of bed. So when you’re asking this question, there’s probably a chance you could die, but the chance is about as slim as me winning the lottery (though I don’t play, so…).

When you look for real answers, you can see your mind is trying to protect you from stepping outside of your comfort zone. But it’s when you step outside of that comfort zone that you feel most alive! 

This one question could change the trajectory of your life. 

What happens when you ask it more often? You are more likely to take risks. You live your life more fully. You are less likely to have regrets. You have more opportunities to do amazing things you never imagined possible. All because you realize the absolute worst thing isn’t likely to happen. 

Did you know that dying people’s regrets are made up of the things they did NOT do? They regret the chances they didn’t take, the words they didn’t say, the relationships they didn’t nourish, and the adventures they didn’t experience.

I’m personally grateful to have learned the power of this question as I’ve aged. My only regret is not using it more when I was younger. 

I started asking this question in my late 30s (I’m now 42). I can’t even begin to explain how my life has changed in this time. I was always a quiet, introverted pleaser, often afraid of judgment and stepping outside of my safety zone. 

But my life and my outlook have completely changed by embracing, not only the question but the attitude of “Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

Some of the highlights for me over the past 5 years – I earned my black belt as a not-so-athletic 39-year-old, I gave solo self-defense presentations in front of over 100 people, I started writing and publishing online for the world to see (still hard to publish every. single. time), I deepened my relationships with my family and friends. I didn’t give up on my body after a tough diagnosis.

Here’s where the real estate part comes in. I flipped a house (with some help, of course)!

For years my husband and I talked about investing in real estate. And for years, we put it off for one reason or another. It was just never the “right time” and “what if” we make a mistake, the market tanks, we pay too much, we lose it all!?!? All the “what ifs” stopped us from taking this step.

We finally faced those fears. We took precautions against the worst thing (financial ruin) by having an exit strategy (and savings). And we dove in and did it. 

It didn’t turn out the way we planned. At all. But, in the end, we were fine! The worst didn’t happen. In fact – we made money.

Though we lost some precious time in the process, we gained so much. We learned priceless life lessons, mad DIY skills, what to do better next time, and still made some money in the end. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We gained a fantastic support network of real, genuine people. We gained opportunities for future personal and real estate ventures. We gained knowledge and resources that will benefit us in various ways throughout the rest of our lives.

For me, asking the question, “Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” has opened up my eyes to all the opportunities for new experiences, relationships, and work out there. The changes that come from making this shift in thinking are nothing short of amazing to me.

So, if you haven’t adopted this question into your life, today is the day to start. What’s the one thing you can’t get out of your head? The decision that’s nagging at you? The discomfort you’re experiencing? 

Ask yourself, “Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”.

Photo: chuttersnap

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com.