The depressing-sounding question to ask

The Question We All Should Be Asking Ourselves On A Regular Basis

This question has really helped me overcome fears.

Riding our bicycles through Siberia at minus 30 Centigrade, my friend Al and I came to a cluster of huts.

A small coal mine complex.

There was smoke coming from one of the chimneys. It was warm inside. Should we knock on the door or not? People had told us that the miners this far down the road could be very wild. I hesitated.

But then Al asked the all important question:

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

We discussed. Being murdered seemed very unliklely. Probably the worst thing would be being told to go away.

So Al went and knocked on the door, and we were invited to stay for the night, fed, and made some new friends.

I think asking the “What’s the worst that can happen?” question – and really pushing through it, and trying to see the very worst, and then gauging whether that is at all likely – can actually give us a lot of courage.

In this age of disruption when we are often tempted to be very fearful, it has extraordinary power to help us to do what we need to do.

In The Office

What about you? Is there anything holding you back in the office from reaching that goal, crossing that milestone, or just attempting a new approach to a project?

Are fears stopping you from voicing out, stepping up, or asking for that promotion?

Have you tried asking ‘What’s the worst that can happen?”?

And what might be the answer to that question?


Check out my other post on identifying the real, greatest danger in life.

Read more on Facing the fears that are holding you back at work by Harvard Business Review


Corporate motivational speaker Rob Lilwall regularly speaks on facing fears, developing resilience and cultivating agility at work using powerful lessons from his expeditions of 50,000km by bicycle and on foot.

Riding bicycle