“What if’s” can keep you from your first step
Julie opened the card she had received. It was an invitation to be a guest speaker. She was excited. Then she began to think: “What if I don’t do a good job? I’m not eloquent. What if they don’t like my presentation? I’m not engaging. If I blow this, it will be the end.” Julie declined the invitation without taking a first step to explore and prepare to speak. She allowed her, “what if’s” to keep her from her first step.
Richard looked out the window. “What if the sun was shining? I could get so much done quickly. I would have so much fun.” He thought about all the important errands he had to run. He even thought of someone with whom he needed to visit face-to-face. If only . . . He continued to look at the pouring rain outside his window, lost in his reverie of what he would do if the sun was shining. In the end, he did nothing. No first step to get things done.
How will you use your “what if’s?”
What if? Those are two words with a lot of power. Now, you can use them positively. What if they like what I have to offer? What if I am a huge success. That’s powerful. However, the sad truth is that too often, you use them in a way that keeps you from your first step.
When you start with “what if,” it’s easy to imagine all that could go wrong. That begins the slippery path of believing those negative possibilities to the point of inaction.
Use the power of “what if’s” for your first step
Here are three things to do so that your “what if’s” become a launch pad for your first step:
- When the negative “what if’s” comes just say, “So what. I’m going to do it anyway. I’ll use this experience to keep improving.” Or, recognize that with the rain you will not move as quickly, so you build in extra time. You determine to enjoy the rain.
- Turn your negative “what if’s” around and make them positive possibilities that propel you to action. “What if I messed up?” becomes, “What if I do well?”
- Use the “what if” as a guide to how you can best prepare and take that first step.” You see, Julie’s “I’m not eloquent,” may or may not have been true. However, she could have accepted the invitation and then practiced so that she became fluent in her presentation.
“What if’s” have a lot of power. Make them work for you and take the first step.
Image by Daniela_oliiver on Pixabay
Dr. Claire is a spiritual mentor and coach who helps busy business and corporate leaders beat overwhelm and stress to increase productivity and improve their relationships.