If you’ve ever made a major decision in your life that alters the path you’re currently travelling on, you’ve no doubt encountered that little voice inside your head that whispers ‘What If…’ or ‘What would happen if…”
9 times out of 10, the little ‘what if’ has some scary story to tell you or some other negative message. The voice doesn’t care that you’ve made up your mind. Until ACTION is taken on your decision, it’s going to sit there and annoy the hell out of you until it has you in a spin and questioning the original decision you made in the first place!
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, it DOES happen to all of us… even if you’re a positive-minded person.
So what can you do about it?
Firstly, I don’t believe you should be ignoring the little ‘what if’ scenarios that are whispered to you. They pop up for a reason and if they’re being whispered into your conscious mind
then they are most definitely working in the background in your subconscious mind.
Ignoring the ‘what if’ whispers, or indeed, allowing them to run amok in your mind without addressing them, is giving cause for your subconscious to continue to feed on the negative scenarios, without you even really knowing about it. Until you wake up one morning – before you have taken action on your decision – and emphatically declare that your original decision was a stupid idea and you’re just going to keep on moseying along just like you are, thank you very much! Or, you take action, but you haven’t entered into the action with gusto because there is some part of you that doesn’t believe.
Our minds are very powerful and your brain has no idea what is truth and what is fiction. Or what is grounded and what is outlandish. I’ve demonstrated this in my article ‘Your Brain Believes What You Feed It’ which you can read here.
If you’ve made a clear decision to take action and you’re experiencing distracting ‘what if’ scenarios, here’s what you can do:
1) Keep a notebook or journal by your side at all times. Divide the page into two columns.
2) Observe your inner voice and the ‘what if’ scenarios that are coming to your mind.
3) Don’t ignore the ‘what if’ and give your subconscious mind an opportunity to feed on it and blow it all out of proportion. Instead, open your notebook and in the first column write down your ‘what if’ (or ‘what would happen if…’).
Sometimes, when we write down our ‘what if’ scenario, it doesn’t look as big as we first imagined it in our mind.
4) After you have written down the ‘what if’ scenario, on the opposite side in the next column, imagine the opposite of what you have written down.
To give you an example…
If your ‘what if’ went something like: “What if they hate my speech? I’ll have ruined my chances and I won’t EVER get asked again!”
On the opposite side, you may write something like: “What will happen when they love my speech? Oh my goodness! I’m going to be inundated with new business requests!”
5) Once you’ve written down the opposite of your ‘what if’ scenario, spend a minute or so in jotting down the RESULTS of that thought. Don’t over think it – this should be a fun exercise… jot down what quickly comes to your mind without wondering about the ‘how’ or whether it’s even a real possibility.
So with the example above, it may look something like this:
“What will happen when they love my speech? Oh my goodness! I’m going to be inundated with new business requests!”
– Increase my business by 12%, each month.
– Gain 10 new contacts each month.
– Secure 2 new referrals each month.
– Get recognized for my expertise; XYZ newspaper has written a profile about me in the Social Pages.
And so on… you get the picture 🙂
6) Once you’ve written down your RESULTS, cross out the negative ‘what if’ scenario in the first column. Just put a bold line through the whole thought. You can even take it one step further and do what I do… I cross it out, then in capital letters I write things like: ‘What a silly idea!’ or ‘You are the weakest link – Goodbye!’ Sounds nuts, I know… but you’ll be surprised how wonderful it feels – quite liberating really! 🙂
By following the steps above, you’ve successfully turned around a negative ‘what if’ scenario and fed your mind with something positive. Writing it down and imagining the key results works wonders.
To entrench the new positive in your mind and totally eliminate the negative ‘what if’ scenario, consider practicing visualizations with the results you recorded in your notebook. Put on some relaxing or light meditative music and take the time to sit quietly for 30 minutes and transport yourself to that new, positive scene. Play it out in your mind and really feel it, see it, hear it, smell it, touch it.
“The secret of making something work in your lives is first of all, the deep desire to make it work: then the faith and belief that it can work: then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one thought of doubt or disbelief.” ~ Eileen Caddy