What if you made all the difference in the world? Well, get comfortable with that because you do!”
I often receive emails from people looking for simple things they can do in their every day life to be more positive. Many of us spend unnecessary time and energy catastrophizing events that never happen. The key phrase, and I’ll bet you’ve said it or thought it at least once today, is what if.
Usually the scenario sounds something like this.
- I want to ask him or her out, but what if…
- I want to apply for that manager job, but what if…
- I want to take a nice vacation, but what if…
- I want to feel happy, but what if…
This is a classic example of self-talk. We have these thoughts all day long. A key to whether or not you’re achieving a positive mindset is what follows the what if. Play the scenario in your mind right now. What normally follows what if – something positive or something negative?
You might need a What If 180. That is, if your thoughts are negative, you might want to try consciously turning them 180 degrees to something positive.
You can change statements like:
“I want to apply for that manager job, but what if I don’t get it and I feel like a loser?”
“I want to apply for that manager job, and what if I’m exactly who they are looking for?”
Why assume the worst instead of the best? Is the worst any more likely – really? Of course not! As you catch yourself doing this and consciously doing a What If 180, you find that the positive becomes your default state of mind.
Once you have transformed the negative scenario into a positive scenario you can transform the question into an affirmation.
“I want to apply for that manager job and I AM exactly who they are looking for!”
One other tip. You notice I changed the word “but” to the word “and”. The word “but” has been shown to psychologically negate the previous phrase.
You’ve received one of those compliments. “You’re a great baksetball player, but…” “I love you, but….” Try to eliminate those buts from your self-talk too. When you use the but you’re really saying, “I want to feel happy, but I WON’T”.
Start your What If 180s today. Make a game of it. You’ll have a little laugh at your negative self-talk and more importantly you’ll change it.