Two little words that stop us… “What if”.

My husband has been suggesting for months, maybe even years, that I write a blog. My friend, Mitch, has also made a similar suggestion. She even bought me a poster to plant the seed in my head.

I always rejected their suggestions.

What if …

  • I can’t think of anything to say
  • No one wants to read what I write
  • I hurt someone’s feelings
  • Someone disagrees with me
  • I’m not a good writer

After what if comes…

  • I am not a good writer
  • I don’t have a good vocabulary
  • I don’t have the time
  • I am not creative enough

And the list of excuses just keeps going.

I have received feedback that I am a positive person. I laugh out loud at this because if people heard the commentary inside of my head it would shock them! It is not that positive in there. I’m not always kind to myself. Maybe you can relate.

Studies have shown that 90% of what we worry about never even happens! Yet, we play scenario after scenario over and over again in our minds. We create these amazing stories about what could happen. We are actually very creative with these hypothetical “what ifs”.

Before heading into a meeting, I would play what if Sally said this? I will respond like this… My responses would be powerful and strong! Yay me!

In real life those things never happened, or they didn’t happen the way I expected. My responses never seemed as powerful and strong as I rehearsed. All that time worrying and planning… for… nothing!

A coach once showed me how to visualize my “what if’s” away. I visually create a big red ball. The ball represents my “what if”. When I find myself in a “what if” spiral, I grab the ball and visualize throwing it. I always throw it into Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. It works… when I catch myself in a “what if” conversation with myself.

Why is it we believe the negative stuff so much easier than the positive stuff? Isn’t it just as easy to believe that…

  • I have something to say!
  • There is a tribe of people who will care to read what I have to write
  • I am a good enough writer
  • Some people will be inspired or positively impacted by what I have to say
  • I am me… which means I’m just quirky enough to be entertaining.

Even writing these positive thoughts I find myself feeling a little uncomfortable. The reality is the above positive thoughts are more likely to be somewhat true than all the negative thoughts swirling through my head.

Fear is a very powerful feeling. What we fear, however, is only a thought of what could happen in the future. And it is all made up; made up because, unless you are a time traveler or have the ability to see into the future, the future is unknown.

Today I write on my red ball the word blogging and I’m throwing it into Mount Doom and then writing my first blog entry. If anything, it will be an interesting experience.

“But how would you live and have no story to tell?”

Fyodor Dastoyevsky