Why Hedge Your Bets?

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I'm part of a small group of women entrepreneurs participating in a program (led by business mentor and expert Michelle Pippin) aimed at growing our respective businesses. 

Today, I recounted an experience to this group, which led to a double "aha" (something like a double rainbow) that I'm sharing here because it has everything to do with productivity and all that stuff. 

Here's the story:

I'm working on a project in my business. I've written down the results related to the project, and included some aspirational outcomes (wouldn't-it-be-great-if... stuff). 

The other day, I took the aspirational outcomes off my list, because, as I put it, "It was bothering me to include them because it made the reality a little inflated."

In other words, it wasn't depicting the actual facts on the ground.

Well, here's what happened: One of the so-called aspirational outcomes... actually happened. After I took it off my list.

I was reminded again of the power of intention. And I expressed my lesson to the group today like this: "I see that I 'hedge my bets' and often miss on the intentional power to create through envisioning." Simple. Aha! Cool. 

It was interesting that I used the phrase "hedge my bets," and awesome that Michelle didn't miss a beat to zero in on that. She commented that we hedge our bets, so we aren't let down, to protect ourselves from being disappointed. And by hedging our bets, we take away some of the power of intention setting - what these aspirations compel and inspire us to do. 

Holy cow. And BOOM!

 

You see, I've been feeling for some time (like a really long time) that I've installed a beautiful glass ceiling over me. I mean, as ceilings go, it's a really nice one. It provides for me well. 

However, for all its protection, it still feels like a barrier that I can't break through (even though I built it). 

 

And then, there are those words. Hedge. My. Bets.

I saw that my lovely, homey glass ceiling (which lets in lots of light) has been constructed by Hedging My Bets. I created a ceiling to protect me from the risk of:

Disappointment

Vulnerability

The Unknown

Exposure

And so on ...

 

Holy. (Freaking). Cow.

Of course, I had to look a bit more into this phrase that came tripping off the tongue (actually the keyboard). Here's what I found out there in the Interwebs:

"The word hedge means to avoid making a definitive commitment, to avoid committing oneself; to leave a means of retreat open. It comes from the noun hedge, which means a fence made of shrubbery. The hedge that forms a fence offers protection and security, much like hedging a bet. 'Hedge your bets' first appeared in the late-1600s. The first use was by George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, in his play The Rehearsal (1672): 'Now, Criticks, do your worst, that here are met; For, like a Rook, I have hedg’d in my Bet.'" (www.english.stackexchange.org)

"The verb 'to hedge' derives from the noun hedge, that is, a fence made from a row of bushes or trees. These hedges were normally made from the spiny Hawthorn, which makes an impenetrable hedge when laid. To hedge a piece of land was to limit it in terms of size and that this gave rise to the 'secure, limited risk' meaning." (www.phrases.org.uk)

"The figure of speech 'to hedge one’s bets,' whether it be in relation to a market investment, or a wagering game bet investment, derives—albeit sometimes loosely speaking—as an allusion to 'fencing in,' so as to prevent loss by escape (a form of guarding or protection), as if with hedgerows or similar planting arrangements.

The chief characteristic of a 'hedged' bet/investment is that it requires a (generally profit-reducing) counter-endeavor—a likely-to-be countervailing bet, investment, operation—so that the net gain expectation, if any, is knowingly lowered in order to avoid or minimize net loss." (www.english.stackexchange.org) 

Soooo....

I saw that my own M.O. has woven into it this idea of hedging my bets.

And for all the imagined protection this way of operating has provided, it has required "a generally PROFIT-REDUCING COUNTER-ENDEAVOR - so that the net gain expectation, IF ANY, is KNOWINGLY LOWERED in order to avoid or minimize net loss." (emphasis mine)

Now, for some, maybe hedging a bet here or there would be a good idea! But I see for myself, that it's no way to live, or work. 

So now, being aware of this hedge-betting business, I want to play my cards more fully. You know, play full out.

I'm going to dream and declare and do (even if it bothers me because it seems "inflated" or not "realistic"). And that beautiful glass ceiling may just shatter (in an awesome, sparkling way) with my own exuberance and energy and effort. And who knows what I'll discover just beyond it? Pretty much only way to find out. Right?

I tell you this story to spread the "aha" magic.

What kind of "hedges" have you cultivated and manicured to hedge your "bets"? What dreams do you not write down because you are being realistic?

And how might you play your game beyond those elegant hedges?

Want to join me in dreaming and doing, imagining and intending, aspiring and aiming - free of all that hedging? (You know you do. It will be fun.)
 

 A view of hedges from my run today. #lindsayontherun

A view of hedges from my run today. #lindsayontherun


PS. If you’re a woman who is creating, running, growing a business - and would like to surround yourself with go-for-it women and straight-talk expertise from Michelle, check out the Women Who WOW The Online Alliance for Seriously Driven Women Entrepreneurs

PPS. If you’re into getting productivity findings, tips, etc. that work in the real world, I'll send them to you. Sign up here. Easy Peasy.  OR join the Facebook Group, Productivity Powers. Or both. 

PPPS. (Because, why not?) Want "a method in the madness"? A way to systematically manage all the details of work and life in order to avoid the crazy-busy trap and have the impact you most want? Then check out the self-paced, online course Workflow Mastery: The Disciplines of Accomplishment.