What If?

Feb 18, 2021

That question has come up a lot for me lately.  Most recently, when I was preparing for an Instagram Live on Saturday. I had a lot of chatter and what-ifs in my head. Actually, I’d been having those thoughts for a couple of days because I was creating new content.  Well… creating content for the first time ever.  So, of course, I was uncertain about it and wondering, “what if?” 

What if it wasn’t good? What if I made a lot of mistakes?  What if no one was interested in the material?  What if I should have presented it this way instead of that way? And the questions and doubts just kept coming up.  I finally decided that they would not stop, so I should just face them and come up with some answers.

Q:  What if___ happens?

A:  Then I examine it and figure out what to do next. 

And if the what-ifs keep coming up, I repeat the process until I’ve addressed all the questions my brain presents.

So, instead of resisting those questions and doubts, I just let them come up and leaned into them.  I answered them.  Did I answer them correctly?  I don’t know, but I answered them, and I will work through those situations and address any other what-ifs that come up. 

While I was letting the questions rise to the surface, do you know what else came up?  New ideas and solutions. So, don’t be so quick to resist and shut down the doubts and questions that come up.  They are just thoughts, and if you examine them from the perspective that they are just thoughts (and you can change those thoughts at any time), you may create space for new thoughts to form. And, you never know where they might lead you. They could lead you to greatness. Work through them.

Our lives, including every comfort and advancement that we enjoy today, are probably a result of a what if?  So, don’t shy away from the questions and the doubt; lean in and examine them.

I love the line from the poem by Erin Hanson, “What if I fail?” Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?

Thinking back, I realized these questions come up all the time.

I had the what-ifs when I decided to get certified.  What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t like it?

And, when I started my business.  What if I fail?  What if people don’t take me seriously

And, when I started this blog.  What if no one reads it? What if I can’t come up with things to cover in the blog? What if there are mistakes? (And there will be mistakes.) 

So, “what if” all of those things?  So what?  What if I fall flat on my face?  Don’t get certified? What if I don’t have any clients, and no one reads my blog?

I have to consider all of those possibilities and ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”  That is really what it comes down to.  Why am I doing what I’m doing? And do I like my reasons for doing it? 

If I like my reasons for doing it, that is the only thing that matters. Because the only things I can control are me and my thoughts, I can’t control how anyone feels about what I’m doing.  If 100 different people are reading this blog, there will be 100 different thoughts and opinions about what I’m doing, and I have no control over any of them.

So what if someone doesn’t like what you are doing?  Do you?

Do you like your reasons for the things you are doing?   

What if that is all you need?

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