This is one of my favorite questions. What if? It can be paralyzing if we stop there, but if we take it a few steps further this little question can also be a wonderful way to open our mind and heart to new, exciting possibilities.
Sometimes when we are faced with an opportunity or a challenge we start the questioning in our mind. What if I’m not welcome? What if they don’t like me? What if I make a fool of myself?
Those are all valid questions and in many circumstances, they are very real possibilities. My response when I’m working with life coaching clients is to take this scenario a bit further.
Okay, so you go to an event and you are not immediately welcomed? What then? Do you have to stand there alone or is there something you can do about it? Well, of course, there is something we can do about it; we can be uncomfortable and lonely, we can even leave, or we can begin to introduce ourselves to others. This can be far easier said than done, so we may roleplay a bit, helping the person to find an easy way to introduce themselves to that first person. Putting a smile on your face and greeting the first person will immediately allow you to feel just a bit better.
What if you actually enjoy the experience? Oh wow! I know a young man who was very shy, almost painfully so. He made up his mind that he wanted to meet new people, so he put himself into situations where the only way he could talk to anyone was if it was someone new. He went places by himself. Smiled and offered his hand in greeting. This young man now loves to go places where he is a total stranger. He collects new friends like I collect shoes. What if you tried to do the same?
What if you didn’t enjoy the experience? What would happen to you then? It’s a possibility, isn’t it? So, I ask you to consider that in your mind, how does it make you feel and where is the feeling located? Would it ruin your day? Does that have to be the outcome? Would you be able to learn from the experience and take it as an important life lesson? What if the lesson helped you to realize that others are possibly unsure when they attend an event? The result could be that you take it upon yourself to welcome new people, which will often make you the most deeply appreciated person in the room. Hmmm, not so negative at all now, in fact, it sounds pretty darned good, if that’s what you want. What if, what if, what if?
What if your dream of great wealth came true tomorrow? Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? What would happen then? Some people immediately begin to imagine the opportunities they would have to change their lives and the lives of those they care about. Other people immediately begin to worry about the taxes and the new bills they would accumulate by overspending. So, take each of these scenarios a few steps further. How would you change lives? How would that make you feel and how would you begin? Worried about all of this? What precisely are you worried about? What steps can you take to know that you would be responsible? Oh yes, that’s right! We are in charge of our own destiny here, none of these things needs to happen. Taxes and bills can easily be managed by being responsible or engaging the assistance of someone who is honorable and trustworthy to guide us. Then what, that negative feeling or fear is greatly diminished, now we can see the possibilities of¬¨‚Ä† how we can change our lives for the better.
When we ask this question I like to remember and to remind others that it’s all about moving through the immediate feeling. Instead of answering the initial what if and stopping, take it another step or two or even fifteen. Ask yourself; are any of these scenarios written in stone? Do I have the power to change them, if so how? Remembering that we have the ability to tweak and change our lives with a thought, a feeling or a smile is very empowering.
What if you allow yourself to enjoy this question? What if you allow yourself to clearly see many possibilities and then realize that there is no pre-destined outcome. What if?
Wishing you an exciting week, knowing that when you ask what if, you are asking to see alternatives and opportunities for yourself so that you can move forward in a manner which serves you best.¬¨‚Ä† After all, you always deserve the best, which is what I always wish for you.