Updated: Aug 17
You know who you are. Right? You are the one in the group, the doubter, the worrier, the most cautious, the one who must calm your anxieties. I certainly know that I have been this person, and in all honesty, on occasion, still can be. So, let’s talk about this for a minute, get some good visualization about what we referring to before jumping in to when it can be empowering and when we need to pull out some skill sets to shift our direction.
Worry, doubt, and caution are pretty normal, right?
Well, let’s look at some examples.
• Sometimes the dialog might sound like; What if I can’t pay my rent or mortgage? What if I lose my job, or don’t get the job? What if I can’t pay for childcare? What if my partner leaves me? What if I get cancer or some other grave illness? What if I never find true love?
• While other internal conversations might feel more urgent; What if someone attacks me? What if my car loses control on the freeway? What if I have a panic attack at the event? What if I get sick and die? What if my loved one gets injured? What if they die?
Any of this sound familiar? Real quick, write down the ones that resonate with you. Now let’s look at where they fit. There are some what if’s that involve work and finances, others that feed on family and relationships, and then there are those that are centered around health and the future. But what we really want to understand is which ones suggest a healthy ability to identify areas for concern and which may suggest a chronic issue that is generating unnecessary and derailing anxiety that is keeping you from living a fulfilled life.
So, let’s look at it this way; if your what if’s have an actionable task that you can put into motion then they are productive. What do I mean? Well, if the worry is financial perhaps you have options like taking on a second/part time position or even rent out a room to fill the gaps. If its centered around doubt in a relationship you can take a more assertive stance and have conversations or engage in relationship counseling. But if they are generated from a place of fear pertaining to the future or your health and wellbeing (or that of another) well then, we have some work to do.
When your mental loops and reals play out in a place or time that may never arrive you are trying to control or predict outcomes before a situation arrives. Another way to look at this may also be to see that you are trying to avoid the unpredictable or the uncontrollable. An example that always rings true for me is; I can only ensure that my vehicle is in good running order and that I am attentive when I am driving my car. I cannot predict a blowout, I cannot stop a deer from running across the highway, I cannot control what other drivers do. I can now choose to never drive my car because of the unknown variables, or I can trust in my ability to be aware of my surroundings and take appropriate action. The rest, that potential accident, or the severity there of, is beyond my control.
Ok, now that we have a general ideal around the wide range of what if’s, let’s talk about some of the more common day to day topics and discuss correcting the issue.
· What if I am not dresses appropriately for this event? Stop. Ask yourself; Did I read the invitation and look for any attire guidelines? Did I make a conservative choice? And do I feel comfortable and confident when I am wearing my selection?
· What if my boss doesn’t like my presentation? Stop. Ask yourself; Did I follow direction? Are all of the key points addressed? And did I review my information for accuracy?
· What if my partner leaves me? Stop. Ask yourself; Is our relationship built on genuineness and honesty? Am I being my authentic self in this relationship? And am I giving more to the relationship than my partner?
What you do from here is up to you. If this conversation is resonating with your life, try using inquiry (ask yourself clarifying questions) to debunk your fear based belief and redirect your stance. If you find that you reside in a constant state of the what if’s and the thought of getting out from under it is even more overwhelming, well then, we need to chat. Call me. I specialize in helping people shift their perceptions, slow down the reals playing in their minds and condition the thought processes to function in an improved capacity.