Ep 9: What Are You Leaving on the Table?

It’s a question that came up when I was having coffee with a friend after last week’s episode (the one about NOT asking for permission).

If we are waiting for someone to give us permission to pursue our dreams, what else could be leaving on the table?…

That’s what today’s episode is all about. I share a couple different ways we can look at this topic and WHY we sometimes do this to ourselves PLUS I offer a couple specific next-steps we can all take to STOP leaving things, leaving money, leaving LIFE on the table.

What are we leaving on the table?

After last week’s episode, I had the chance to talk about the question I said to NEVER ask when pursuing your dreams: asking for permission…

And as we unpacked how we had seen this in our own lives and in several other situations, one of us asked the question, “How much do you think we leave on the table?…”

And we sat there in silence for a moment.

How much are we leaving on the table?

What does that phrase even mean? The expression actually comes from the poker table. If you don’t play strategically, you’re leaving money/chips on the table. Additionally, it references a place, the table, that is close enough for us to touch – it’s not out of reach.

This is where I think this analogy meets its end of it’s usefulness in this discussion. Because on the the poker table, the money (in this case) is finite. It is, in fact, a zero sum game. In order to obtain money, you need to win it from others.

– Life is not a zero sum game though.
– Some things are fixed and binary like that (you put out a bid competing with other companies, and only 1 will win), but for us to think this zero sum-ness informs all of life is selling it short.
– You do not have to take to gain
– You can add tremendous value to others and gain (think of it as addition by addition, not addition by subtraction)

When we view life as a zero-sum game, I think we’re more prone to leave things on the table because we may feel like we have to take from others to gain.

If you’ve seen a couple episodes of UnSabotage, you may have heard this idea of us setting up Glass Walls in our own way.

They’re made of limiting thoughts and old habits – and I think this view of the table, zero-sum-ness is a limiting thought that so many of us unknowingly subscribe too.

So, back to the question: How much are we leaving on the table?

Let’s look at it another way…

I had the chance to hike in the redwoods this weekend with my hubby’s momma.

We got to see the rings of a tree that existed B.C.! I saw that every circle, every ring, had it’s own characteristics. Some were wider, those were generous years. Some were leaner, those were drier years.

Just like the rings of a tree reach out further and further, a reflection of all the years that have gone before, I think we approach life, and what we expect of it in a similar fashion.

Here are the Four Rings that I came up with as it relates to our movement from our internal conflict with leaving things on the table, to our external attempts, requests and eventual success of reaching those things:

1. Waiting for permission: Going back to what we discussed in last week’s episode, when we wait for someone’s permission, we could be waiting for a long time…

2. We can be afraid to ask for it: Yes, we see what we need on the table, but moving it beyond the thought of it to actually asking for it can be scary.

3. We reach for it but stop just short of grabbing hold, or as I like to call it, the “3 Feet From Gold,” or the Think And Grow Rich story. A gold minor during the Gold Rush found a vein of gold and went to town! The vein dried up and he kept digging for a while but eventually gave up and sold the land and his equipment to someone who, get this, dug just 3 feet further and found the gold vein again. Or, you could put another way, “If you don’t quit, you win.”

4. Our expectations: of life, others and ourselves

“If we don’t ask much of others, we may not ask enough of ourselves. If we don’t ask much of ourselves, we may not ask enough of others.”
We all have greatness is us. Sometimes we simply need to pause and pay attention to it.

There are 3 thoughts I want you to remember as you approach your next table:

1. Remember there is a table – and it’s right in front of us
2. You have permission to engage with that table
3. Your world and your life’s work are asking that you engage with the table
What can we do about this? How can we stop, or lessen, leaving life on the table?

I’ve created a gift for you that you can use to walk you through a these few questions. Simply go to UnSabotage.com/tryit

Once you download your amazing little gift, I encourage you to answer these 3 questions around this week’s episode:

1. If I were to look at my table, the one that’s right there in front of me, what would I find? What’s on it?
2. Am I afraid of engaging with the table?
3. What’s my strongest reason for engaging with the table?
Then there’s an eye-opening exercise at the back of this gift to help you dig even deeper into what you found. I encourage you to go check it out.

So, until next week’s episode, here’s my challenge for you: remember there’s a table in front of you and don’t be afraid to engage with it. Don’t leave any part of your life on the table.

Did you like today’s episode? If so, I’d be so honored if you’d share it.

Until next week’s episode!

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