We seem to play a game inside our heads whenever we have to make a decision, or whenever we need to take action. This game is called “What If…” This game is one of the most detrimental games we can play, as it leads to hesitation and fear. When action needs to be taken, or when important decisions need to be made, playing the “What if” game keeps you from forward progress and will most likely hurt you than help you. Stop with the “What ifs” and start living the life you are meant to live.
I hear people say all of the time, “What if he…”, “What if she…”, or “What if I…”. This question is indicative of anxiety, fear, and a lack of self confidence. When someone states a “What if” statement, my response is always, “If you live your life in ‘What ifs’, then you will never live.” The truth is, when we consume our mind and thoughts with the ideas of the fear of the unknown, we will miss opportunities afforded to us because of those fears. As the saying goes, “You’ll never know, unless you try.”
“What ifs” keep us stagnant, never changing. We keep doing the same things out of the fear of what might happen if we did something different or new. Confession time: I took many months off of lifting weights and going to the gym because I kept thinking, “What if I have a heart attack or injure myself so badly I need medical attention.” The irony is that “What if” thinking is what kept me from taking care of myself and got me closer to the possibility of a heart attack and needing medical attention. Yes, I had a legitimate fear of something happening to me in the gym, but my fear held me back and kept me from becoming better and getting healthy. Today, however, I have biked over 800 miles in the course of 6 months, I am more fit, my blood pressure is down, and I have a lot more energy. What did I learn? I learned that “What if” thoughts hold me back from making positive changes, reaching goals, and becoming better.
In order to become more, we must shed our fears and run with abandon. We must stop fearing the “What ifs” and push ourselves to just do. Whatever happens will happen, and having fear of something that might or might not happen will keep you from reaching goals and becoming more. Learn to live in a way that embraces the unknown and the possibilities that the unknown might offer. To fear a hypothetical situation, is to relinquish the sanity and control of your own life. You are the captain of your life. You can either leave the harbor, ride through the storms, and see the most amazing places and do the most amazing things, or you can choose to anchor your ship and miss the wonders of this life.
Don’t let the hypothetical “What ifs” keep you from living a life full of adventure, excitement, and purpose. Don’t listen to the lies of fear. Embrace the unknown and live an adventurous life . Do not allow the “What ifs” to keep you from the opportunities this life offers. Turn your “What ifs” into “Let’s find out.”
As always, stay humble and serve well!