I was working with a client this week and he was throwing all the "what if's" at me. What if things do not work out? What if I fail? What if my fears do come true? WHAT IF? These questions stunned me for a moment because I realized how stressful it must be to wonder this all day long. And if we are consistently wondering what if something bad is about to happen...are we enjoying the in between or allowing any good to come in?
This made me wonder if we change the end of the what if statement. What if does not have to be the beginning of a bad question/outcome. So I challenged this client to wonder what if....things work out? What if things get better? What if my fears do not come true? What if I can think myself into a better mood?
His face lit up for a moment and then he looked down. He reminded me that he had to think the worst because the worst has and did happen before in his life. I feel that. When you expect bad things to happen and bad things happen, you can not be disappointed. And when you have consistently seen negative throughout your life of course you begin to expect it. But does that have to be his forever? Is he doomed to fear the worst and expect the worst FOREVER?
Simply, no. So we can acknowledge that things have been rough and may be that way again. But what if....we expect good to come? What if we hope for better? What if we decide that our future will not be the same as our past? Maybe just maybe it can get better. And if it doesn't then maybe it gets different. But in the meantime rather than expecting the worst....why don't we spend some time wondering what if my outcome is not doomed but hopeful? What if I get what I want? What if I have a good day today?
Try changing the end of your what if statement and see if things do change or if you at least feel better being hopeful and optimistic.