What If?? Own Your Horror Stories

Have you ever wanted to do something and been paralyzed by fear or indecision? What if?? That's a horror story. Tell, write, or draw your story. It might not be so scary. Or it might be! Either way, you'll unlock insights to get unstuck and help you move forward.

Instead of horror stories, you might find:

A not so scary story

Maybe your story is not so scary. You need to have a tough conversation at work with a direct report. But you're friends. What if you hurt her feelings? Wait, she's resilient. Bring chocolate? She'll appreciate your help? This isn't a horror story, after all. You've got this. Go get ‘em.

A comedy

Or maybe your story is over the top. Like, ridiculous. You're presenting to an executive team. What if they spend the meeting on their phones? Or fall asleep? Ack! That's not a horror story. It's a comedy. You're smart and creative. Comedies are hard to write. Keep going. You can chose to accept the comedic factor of what you're going to do and lean into the humor. Or you can rewrite your comedy however you want. School of Rock? Bueller? You want to stretch yourself a la Dead Poet's Society?

Either way, not a horror story. You've got this. Go get ‘em.

A…horror story

Ok. Maybe your story is a horror story. It's scary. Like, really scary. That meeting you ran last week was a disaster. Everyone probably hates you for wasting their time. If you bring up X with your boss, he'll fire you. Ack! Hugs. Your worst nightmare came true…In your head. There’s only one way to find out if your worst nightmare is, in fact, true or will come true…

Test your story

It feels true, yes. But ask yourself: is this story true? Find out. Now you've got a mystery to write. And solve. What's the smallest thing you can do to get more data? Today? Tomorrow? I love horror stories, but I *love* a good mystery. And so does your brain. What's next?? Go!

So if you ever feel stuck and unable to move forward because of a story you tell yourself:

  • Know that humans are storytelling creatures. Good job!

  • Admire your crafty work. High five!

  • Channel your craft. Write your story to move you forward rather than hold you back.


Hi, I'm Donna. I’m a leadership coach, speaker, and author. I help leaders in tech and tech adjacent fields unlock their superpowers so that they can get unstuck, level up, lead more effectively, and make an impact at work and in life. Do you want to be more super at work? Let’s chat.