If you’ve 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 a scary story to tell or some other negative message. 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 decision! 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, don’t ignore the ‘what if’ scenarios that are whispered to you. They pop up for a reason. If they’re being whispered into your conscious mind, then they are most definitely working in your subconscious mind.
Ignoring the ‘what if’ whispers is giving cause for your subconscious to continue to feed on the negative scenarios, without you even really knowing about it.
And then one day, you will wake up – BEFORE you have taken action on your decision – and emphatically declare it was a stupid idea and give up on the notion. Or, you may take action, but you haven’t entered into the action with heart because a part of you doesn’t believe it.
Our minds are 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…’).
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 I end up hating my new job or the people I work with?” On the opposite side, you may write something like: “What will happen when I’m suddenly working with a great bunch of work mates?”
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 I’m suddenly working with a great bunch of work mates?”
– Increase my happiness and enjoy my work.
– Have new energy so I can network more efficiently… I then gain 10 new contacts each month.
– Secure a good rapport with my team mates that leads to us winning $20k more in new business each month.
– Get recognised 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: ‘Nonsense!’ 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 eliminate the negative ‘what if’ scenario, consider practicing visualizations with the results you have written.
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