WHAT IF? .. What If? … what if?… what if?
The question of ‘what if?’ is typical of a person who suffers from anxiety. Anxiety is always future related and the question ‘what if?’ is usually followed by a negative future prediction. The trouble is that these negative future predictions can seem so real because they usually do contain a grain of truth. The end result is that everybody else around the anxious person gets drawn into believing that this predicted outcome is based in reality and also end up in a heap of anxiety!
When you start predicting the future with ‘What if?‘ ask yourself this question: What evidence do I have that this will be the outcome?
Let’s look at a few examples and see how we can change the way we think in response to ‘what if?:
- A friend of mine won’t go at night because ‘what if the house is burgled when I’m out?‘. Your house might be burgled, but then again, it also might not. Reassure yourself that you’ve done all you can to secure your house. Then go out and enjoy yourself. What fun is there in life staying housebound and bored just ‘in case’ your house gets burgled.
- I don’t like flying in a plane because what if it has engine problems? Again do you stay housebound because of this fear. The truth is that far more people get killed in road accidents than in plane accidents. Perhaps go on a desensitization program with one of the airways to overcome this phobia.
- I can’t go to that party because what if I don’t know anyone there? Once again, are you going to stay housebound and miss the chance of possibly meeting some exciting people. You don’t have to know anyone at the party to have a good time, do you? You can make the party exciting and make other people feel wanted.
Whenever I hear the words ‘what if?’ my mind immediately reacts with the words I probably heard way back in the 1970’s. ‘If all the hippies cut of their hair, I don’t care! … I don’t know where it came from but if you know, please tell me.
Stay grounded in the present, the past is gone and keep the future as a surprise!