If You're Gonna Play with the Big Dogs, You Gotta Get Off the Porch

Watching my fiancee's three toy poodles (yep, count 'em, three), I thought about my publicist pal Haasan Morse's favorite saying, "If you're going to play with the big dogs, you've got to get off the porch."   While the poodle trio barely adds up to one big dog, they're always raring to get off the porch and into the action. How about you?  Are you sitting on the sidelines or right in the thick of things? In these times of financial stress and instability, I've had a lot of people across the country tell me they feel stuck, scared and ready to stick their head in the sand rather than take a risk. But just because we're living in unstable times doesn't mean you have to back off of taking bold action. Quite the contrary.

Try this Risk-Taker's Tool, "Creating Your Escalating Risk Hierarchy,"  from You Unstuck to get off your metaphorical porch.

Identify a big picture goal or a bold action that you want to undertake, something that gives you butterflies in the stomach.  Next, chunk it down into specific action items, the smaller the increments the better.

Then rate the steps on what I call the Anxiety Index according to how much anxiety each action item might evoke in you on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being "wouldn't worry me a bit" to 10 being "scares the pants of off me."  Now, place each item in rank order from the least anxiety-provoking to the most.  Then start ticking off the goals, one at a time until you've completed each step.

If you get anxious - and I promise you will - add a relaxation exercise with each new step.  Keep going until you've reached the top of your Escalating Risk Hierarchy.  You'll be amazed how your confidence builds as your competence increases.  Pretty soon, you'll be running with the big dogs!


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