“What if” could be the most dangerous phrase you may use on a regular basis. Many of us don’t even use it very frequently out loud, but it still can have a major impact on our lives. Think about the last time you considered doing something new and different. Out of your comfort zone. Did you quickly follow that thought with a “What If”? What if it rains? What if they don’t come? What if I don’t do well? What if I stopped saying “What If”?
First of all, nobody is perfect and things sometimes go wrong. So just expect it, be prepared and go try something new anyway. Second, what if the things that you “What If” about aren’t very likely to happen? Doesn’t this mean that you are holding yourself back for the most part for no reason?
Also, why is the “What If” usually negative and not positive? Why not: What if I meet my future spouse at this event? What if I discover a great lifelong hobby today? What if I discover something new and wonderful? Where are those awesome “What Ifs” hiding when I say “What If”?
One theory is that thousands of years ago there were many more things in the world to worry about: Lots of wild carnivorous animals. Bad weather with no shelter. The Ice Age. Even if you stumbled and sprained your ankle or broke a bone, you would most likely die. Back then the “What If” and specifically the negative “What Ifs” served an important purpose.
Now, not so much. Now our risks are a lot fewer and far between, at least the risks that are real and potentially deadly as opposed to the risk that you forgot to set the DVR to record the Kardashians. More frequently now, “What If” just gets in the way of experiencing life to its fullest and reaching your potential.
Fast forward to your death bed. What if I experienced more and listened to the negative “What Ifs” less? Will we regret more the things we have done or more the things we have wanted to do but didn’t? What do you think?
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