Getting unstuck by challenging "But, what if?"

Our minds are skilled at conjuring up doubts and fears that can lead us down a path of unnecessary worry and anxiety. Welcome to the realm of the "But, what if...?" brigade – that group of pesky thoughts that thrive on undermining your courage and keeping you from seizing life's opportunities.


"But what if 'such and such' happens?"

"But what if 'so and so' doesn't happen?"

But what if...?

Let's look at how we can challenge this.

How to challenge "What if?" thoughts

Embrace the comedy of catastrophising

The human mind has a curious penchant for creating vivid disaster scenarios at the drop of a hat. What if you trip and fall during your presentation? What if you embarrass yourself at the party? What if your homemade soufflé turns into a pancake? It's time to embrace the comedy in these catastrophes.

Remember, most of these scenarios are highly unlikely, and even if they do occur, they'll likely be a source of laughter later on. So, the next time your mind starts to conjure up a wild "But, what if?" tale, imagine it as a scene from a slapstick comedy – you'll be amazed at how quickly the tension dissipates.

Flip the script with positive "What ifs"

Why let negativity have all the fun? Let's flip the script and engage in some positive "What ifs." What if that job interview goes exceptionally well? What if your spontaneous road trip turns into a life-changing adventure? What if you meet your soulmate at the coffee shop? These optimistic scenarios are just as likely as the doom and gloom ones, but they carry the power to uplift your spirit and energise your actions. Whenever the "But, what if?" brigade knocks on your mental door, invite in the brigade of positive possibilities for a friendly chat instead.

Embracing the power of now

Eckhart Tolle once said, "Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have." The "But, what if?" brigade thrives on dragging you away from the present and into the maze of hypotheticals. Combat this by grounding yourself in the now. Take a deep breath, feel the sensations in your body, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the present moment. When you're truly engaged in the 'now,' the worrisome "what ifs" lose their grip on your mind, and you're free to embrace life's joys and challenges with a clear and focused mind.

Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have.

Eckhart Tolle

The wisdom of winging It

Life doesn't come with a comprehensive instruction manual, and that's what makes it so exciting. Instead of fretting over every detail, embrace the wisdom of winging it. Allow yourself to navigate unfamiliar situations with grace and curiosity. Remember that some of the most remarkable experiences come from stepping into the unknown with an open heart and a willingness to learn. So, the next time the "But, what if?" brigade whispers doubts in your ear, respond with a confident, "So what? I'll figure it out as I go!"

Curiosity killed the "But, what if?"

If curiosity killed the cat, it also has the power to silence the "But, what if?" brigade. Approach life with a childlike sense of wonder and curiosity. Instead of viewing new challenges with trepidation, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" or "How can this experience enrich my life?" Shifting your perspective from fear to curiosity reframes the narrative and allows you to view obstacles as stepping stones to growth and transformation.

The power of perspective

Often, the "But, what if?" brigade thrives on narrow perspectives that magnify potential negative outcomes. Combat this by expanding your viewpoint. When faced with doubts and uncertainties, take a step back and consider the bigger picture. How will this situation matter in a week, a month, or a year? Will it still hold the same weight? This exercise in perspective can often help you realise that many worries are fleeting, and life has a way of working things out for the best.

Embrace imperfect action

Perfectionism is the breeding ground for the "But, what if?" brigade. Perfection is the killer of taking action. The fear of making mistakes can paralyse us and prevent us from taking action. Embrace the concept of imperfect action – the idea that it's better to take a step forward, even if it's not flawless, than to remain stagnant due to fear. Remember that progress is more important than perfection, and each step you take brings you closer to your goals.

But, what if you can change your life?

If it's time for you to take action and you need a guiding hand, contact me today, and let's start this exciting journey of transformation together.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Show comments

Find a coach dealing with Anxiety

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals