It’s so very easy to only see what’s right in front of you. But when you stare at your current situation—thinking about it, dissecting it, hating it, wishing it were different, beating yourself up for it—it’s difficult to see what might be right around the corner. What if…things were different?
“What if” is a powerful question to ask yourself. In fact, the answer to that question can spark the vision of a new reality, a new experience of yourself and of life.
You see, when you ask yourself “what if,” you allow yourself to imagine something different. And as that vision gets more and more detailed, your mind begins to play with the idea and to generate solutions—ways to make it real.
Don’t Give Up
If you focus on what’s not working in your current situation, you’ll feel frustrated and stuck. You’ll want to give up. This is especially true when something happens to make the situation worse.
But don’t give up!
Like Ross Perot, American business magnate, billionaire, philanthropist, and former politician said, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
Instead of giving up, start asking, “What if…?”
The Power of “What if…?”
The power of the “what if” question lies in possibilities. And when you feel stuck and focus on your current reality, you don’t see possibilities. Each time you ask the question, a new opportunity appears.
Let’s say you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. That sucks, right? And now you feel stuck in a job that isn’t going anywhere, unappreciated and undervalued. Why wouldn’t you?
But staying in that place of negativity won’t help. So ask:
- What if I looked for another job?
- What if I proposed that project I’ve been dreaming of working on?
- What if I quit?
- What if I told my boss why I deserve the promotion?
- What if I started my own business?
- What if I took a hard look at why my boss doesn’t appreciate or value me and my work?
- What if I admitted that I know why I wasn’t promoted?
- What if I changed careers?
- What if I asked my co-workers what I need to change to be considered deserving of a promotion?
- What if I were working for X company?
- What if I went to work for Y company?
- What if I moved to a new city?
- What if I changed my attitude or mindset?
- What if this is a lesson?
- What if this setback is supposed to help me get on the right track?
- What if God gave me this talent for a reason?
Each time you ask the question, allow your mind to explore both the positive and negative possibilities of this scenario. But be on the lookout for a what-if scenario that has way more positive potential outcomes than negative ones. That’s one to pay attention to… Spend more time visualizing the positive outcome.
Grab the Opportunity
When you find one or two positive potential opportunities, it’s time to grab at least one of them. After all, an opportunity ends up a lost opportunity if you don’t take action.
Consider what you’re next steps. What needle-moving actions could you take to change your current situation and create that opportunity? After all, the possibility exists in your imagination, right?
Wrong. Your what-if scenario is a real opportunity—or can become one—if you begin taking steps to make it real.
You see, the what-if exercise is a superb way to brainstorm how to get yourself out of your current situation. It stops you from feeling caged by circumstances and allows you to dream of new options.
All you need then is to decide which option or idea will help create change…and, again, take action. Do something to change yourself and your situation.
It’s easy to negate any one of your positive what-if scenarios. After all, you could reason, they are just stupid ideas or visions of the future. They aren’t real.
No, not yet they aren’t! But you can make them real.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. Keep that in mind, and do something different. In fact, ask yourself, “What if something changed? What if I changed? What if my situation changed?” What then?
If you continue to negate all the possibilities you create, maybe the more important question is, “What if I stopped negating these possibilities and took a more positive view of what my future can look like? What if I was open to possibilities? What if I stopped being negative or seeing the world in thought the sense of negativity?” What then?
I think part of the power of asking “What if…?” lies in the fact that it can put you in a place of positivity and of hope—hope for a better future. And that’s enough to get you out of feeling stuck.
With a little hope, you might find yourself excited about the future. You might see your current situation as the instigator to positive change. You might see new possibilities around every turn. After all, with a what-if attitude, almost anything is possible. Visualize it, then take action toward your new dream.
So…tell me in a comment below…what if? And if you enjoyed this post, please share!
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