Have you ever heard this phrase: “If if was a fifth, we’d all be drunk?“
As a child, I remember hearing this all the time and finally had to ask my mom what it meant. She said, “The world is full of “if’s”. If this, if that…if someone drank a fifth of alcohol by himself, he’d be drunk. Thus, as much as people say “If”, they’d be drunk if it was a fifth.“
So with that said, Let’s Get Wasted! Wait, no. I’m gonna propose that we stop all the drinking; stop all the Ifs.
While waiting in the doctor’s office, I saw this image below. Granted it was a HPV poster, but it got me thinking about all the Ifs I said in my life….all the Ifs I never acted on. Where would I be if I’d taken a chance on one of those Ifs???
Now, that’s not to say I’d be in a better place. I love the path my life has taken thus far but I’m still curious. It’s our fear that keeps us from acting on our goals and dreams, for whatever reason. I told myself I won’t be afraid of success, of change, of new and different anymore. Act on [some of] the Ifs!
If “If” Was a Fifth
People who spend their lives wishing things would or could be different are drunk on either of these 3 things: 1) immobility; 2) living in the future; or 3) living in the past.
The “What ifs” occur in all aspects of our lives – big and small. Can you identify with any of these:
- What if I had chosen a different career, the one I’m passionate about?
- What if I had the courage to go for that seemingly impossible goal?
- What if the first words out of my mouth today were compliments?
- What if I didn’t take personally the mistakes others around me make today?
- What if I make the wrong decision?
- What if I fail?
- What if I make a fool of myself?
- What if?
Note: For fun What If exercises, check out Nicole’s post: “The What If Prompts“.
How To Escape The What If Trap
One of the things that helps me these days escape the what if trap is knowing that when I make a decision to go after what I want and it doesn’t turn out like I wanted, I can make a new decision to do something different. Knowing this keeps me sane whereas I used to go crazy asking myself “What if it doesn’t go right?” I struggled with making up my mind for far too long.
The question I asked myself to turn this rut around was “Can I really be happy staying in my comfort zone and never doing something because I fear I will fail?” The answer was a resounding NO!
So here are some escape tips to get out of the what if trap.
- Make a list of your values and notice which ones you’re currently dishonoring.
- Know that your decision is not permanent; you can always change your mind.
- Take action on the things you do want and notice what you learned.
What are your big What If’s? How do you escape the What If trap? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share your comments below.