Imagine yourself thinking about doing something new in your life, something that stretches you beyond your comfort zone and opens the door to new possibilities. You would love to do it, you feel energized by the idea, but at the same time the idea of actually committing to doing it makes your eyes bug.
Which of these comes up most naturally for you “What if?” Or, “How?”
How and when you choose to apply those two questions can have an enormous impact on the potential your future holds.
“What if” on its own turns your brain into a fear factory. Left to its own devices, your brain will fill in the blank with an apocalyptic array of calamities. Asked as a solo question, what if is a recipe for finding a bazillion very good reasons to stay where you are.
“How” on the other hand, opens the door to multiple paths to that future. It creates clarity on the steps to take. It also acknowledges that obstacles are a natural part of the path and, rather than getting bent out of shape when you inevitably encounter them, it dives into figuring out how to find a way past them.
“How” is an inherently empowering question to ask. It gives you direction, helps you see what’s next, and enables you to effectively take action and get traction.
“What if” isn’t all bad, though. It can actually be a beneficial question to ask. It just doesn’t play well on its own. It needs to be paired up with another question, like “how.”
Asking what if allows you to explore the danger zones. What if this happens? What if that happens? The trouble comes when you allow those danger zones to gel into reality. But they’re not reality. They’re possible realities.
On the other hand, if you use what if to identify those danger zones, then follow it up by asking how (How could I deal with it if that happens? How could I avoid that happening altogether?), it becomes a tool to help you avoid bumps and bruises along the way.
So as you dream and scheme about the future you want to create, remember the power of “how,” and never let “what if” stand on its own.
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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