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How to Cure Your What If's

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2023

What if I fail?

What if I get hurt in a relationship?

What if I am rejected?

The list of “what ifs” are a million miles long, so let’s shed a little light on the thought that darkness is so much of our mindset.

What if I don’t fail?

What if I don’t get hurt in a relationship?

What if I am accepted?

What if I succeed?

What and if are two harmless words with incredible power to cause harm when combined.  The power of “what if” has diminished the light within us long enough.

It’s time to flip the switch on “what if.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I struggle with this question daily, and most of my “what ifs” are on replay, hearing the negative day after day.  As you know, after hearing that silent voice scream at you for so long, the lie becomes the truth, my truth as I perceive.

When I slow down and think about my mindset, I realize an issue.  The lingering question of “what if” that swirls around in my head brings up undue fear, anxiety, and depression.  And while there is some reality grounded in these thoughts, there are more inaccurate, deceiving, and debilitating misconceptions at the root.

I’ve always heard that 90% of what we fret over never comes true, which, after researching, is very accurate.  According to an article in ScienceDirect written by Lucas S. LaFreniere and Michelle G. Newman, “Primary results revealed that 91.4% of worry predictions did not come true.” “Participants’ average expected likelihoods of worries coming true were much greater than actually observed likelihoods.  The most common percentage of untrue worries per person was 100%.” This article is just one of many I’ve read that disarm the expectations of “what if” being most inaccurate.

What if this intimidating, scary, discouraging question became a pathway of opportunities rather than a sinkhole of obstacles?

The choice to transform a mindset lies in the value you place on the investment.  We must realize the cost we pay for living with the limited perspective of “what if.”

Here’s a simple thought: imagine you want to grow a garden.  So you buy the seeds and plants, prep the ground, and the soil is perfect.  But you never physically plant anything because, “what if I don’t know enough about gardening,” “what if I don’t have time to care for it properly,” “what if I do all the work and nothing grows.”

And what if your garden is grand!  If it’s not, you didn’t fail.  You learned a valuable lesson in gardening that will help you prepare for the next season.  But if you don’t plant the seed, you will never reap a harvest.

What if it turns out better than you expected?  When you flip the switch on the “what if” mindset is part of progress—the progress of being fearlessly in pursuit of your best self.


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