The “what if” scenario will kill any semblance of positivity you have for a plan. “What if” this happens? What if, what if, what if, ??? You could be asking the “what if” question for your last breath. That’s why we have religion. What if I go to hell? What if there is no afterlife? Well, of course, that depends on what you believe. But asking “what if” for your whole life keeps you in the comfort zone of discomfort and uncertainty. We love our comfort zones of discomfort. It’s so easy to be in that zone, especially with the decidedly negative slant of news that is so easily accessible these days on social media. What if it were different? What if you decided to dismiss all the “what if” thoughts you had? What if there were no “what ifs?” To bring this down to a personal level for me, I had in my mind, for years, the sad question of “what if Priscilla dies?” Gang, here’s the thing, 6 people we knew died in 6 months. Either they had brittle bones as Priscilla did, or, in my case, one of my music school acquaintances was murdered in Austria.
Then Priscilla’s health began to fail, slowly at first. That last year was filled with thousands of “what if” questions. The first for us was, “what if Priscilla can’t pass this 3MM kidney stone? What if they have to figure out a surgery?” These questions haunted our thoughts. But all we could do was banish them to the deepest parts of the brain; squish the devil that kept popping up on one shoulder or the other. And, it worked for about a year. The end came swiftly, and yet more “what if” questions came to me in the days following Priscilla’s death. “What if I move? What if I never get married again? What if …” You get the idea. Then the focus of my grief slowly began to shift. The “what if” scenarios became more positive. “What if I used the material P and I started about advocacy and leadership to do something good in this world?” “What if I wrote a book about the life P and I lead?” So, I invite you, for a day, or a week, or however long you can, to think about the “what if” questions you ask yourself. What if you started to reframe those questions in your mind.
Don’t worry, you won’t be talking to yourself, you’ll be beating down the devil (or whatever negative spirit you believe in) that keeps coming around to ask the impossible question, “what if?” So, again, I invite you to ask that spirit, “what if you weren’t around?” What if you changed that negative “what if I can’t do …” to simply, “what if “what if” didn’t exist?” The “what if” question will immediately kill any semblance of positivity for the answer you want. You will be stuck in your negative comfort zone. I encourage you to push down that question and tell it, “there are no “what ifs” there is only “I will.”
Dave Bahr is the founder of In-Sightful living. He works as an advocate for persons with disabilities and a usability specialist. Schedule a Call with Dave here.