I pop into New York City via train every few months, and I connect to Amtrak via 30th Street Station.
There’s a point on the train to 30th Street when everyone else gets off. All the commuters get off at Suburban Station, and I find myself sitting alone in a train car.
Even though I know this mass evacuation happens every time, I still panic.
Maybe the train made a wrong turn since Suburban! (Um. It’s a train. On a fixed track.)
Maybe I missed 30th Street! (30th Street is the end of the line.)
Maybe I’m just not meant to get to New York today. (Clearly. Because being on the right train is the first sign that you’re not meant for something.)
Maybe everyone else knows something I don’t! (That must be it. They’ve all got a secret radiowave chip giving them alerts. Why didn’t I get one?)
No matter how many times I take this trip, I’m always terrified and questioning all my choices for about twenty seconds just after pulling out of Suburban Station.
Keep in mind, this is a scenario in which I’m perfectly safe and I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The chatter is much worse in the face of true uncertainty – which, in business, is pretty much all the time.
Our minds don’t like uncertainty.
They hate feeling as if we’re not privy to vital information. They freak out when they don’t believe we’re on the right path. They ALWAYS think everyone else knows more than we do. They ALWAYS say everyone else is having an easier time than we are. ALWAYS.
What if, the next time your mind freaks out, you choose to opt out of the chatter? You’ve heard it all before.
Yes yes, the current decision you’re making will lead to you being loveless, jobless, penniless, and homeless. The event you’re planning will go horribly wrong. The promotion will bomb. The equipment will fail. Again, all roads lead to loveless, jobless, penniless, or homeless.
Instead of feeding the panic, watch it happen. Laugh. You’re going to get through your present challenge just fine.
You’re on the right train – don’t let the chatter tell you differently.
P.S. Your brain is an asshole.