“Is that true?” I asked. “What if the opposite is true?”
And so, for one week, every time the brave Creatrix slammed up against a thought that threatened to shut her down, she asked herself, “What if...?”
- What if I can create this?
- What if somebody actually likes it?
- What if I try it?
A week later, she reported that she felt so much different and had already been taking steps toward bringing her creation to life. In that simple question, she had moved from the land of “I Can’t” into the land of “Wow, I’m Creating It!”
When you slam up against "I can't."
And we shut down.
Or, we look longingly at our fading dream as if it's the mythical city of Camelot, fantasizing, "If only things could be different..."
- If only I had a job I loved.
- If only I didn’t have so much debt, then I could _______.
- If only I didn’t have to do ______, then I could do what I love.
Oh girlfriend! I have spent so much time wandering around in that wilderness! And I’ll bet you have too. It's what I call the If Only Trap.
If only there were a way to turn it around... ; )
Oh, but there is!
Start here. Ask: “What if?”
One of my favorite examples of what happens when we stop saying "If only..." and instead ask, "What if?" comes from Master Coach Susan Hyatt. Susan leads incredibly delicious retreats life transformation retreats in beautiful destinations across the world. But this wasn’t always so. For years, she yearned to travel internationally. But her husband? He’s more of a “Let’s go the lake house every weekend” kind of guy. So Susan put off her yearning for years. Decades. “If only he would travel with me...”
Until one day Susan asked herself, “Hey! What if I create this MYSELF, with my business?” Since that day, Susan has been creating fabulous coaching retreats for herself and other women in gorgeous locations in Italy, Thailand, Ireland. BAM!
The difference between "If only..." and "What if?"
What is YOUR "What if?"
- What if I can do more of what I love?
- What if I can create more time for myself?
- What if my family doesn’t resent me for taking the time to do what I love? What if I find a way to do it anyway?
- What if I can say “no” to that job that squashes my soul? (Maybe it's time to set your graduation date.)
1. Notice when you bump up against "I can't" or "If only..."
“This won’t work...”
“If only I could...”
2. Calm the thought. Tell it, “Yes, I see you. I see that you’re just trying to keep me safe. Thank you. I’ve got this.”
3. Now ask yourself, “What If?”
What if I can do _________.
What if it does work?
What if I don’t have to? What if I can say “no” to something I don’t love?
What if I say "yes" to what I yearn for?
Ask with curiosity. Ask with true wonder. Ask with a sense of possibility.
Notice how you feel. (Doesn’t that feel more powerful?)
Well done, Soulful Heroine! You’ve just created a big opening for creative inspiration and new ideas and insights to come in.
Watch for it.
Listen for it.
Act on it.
And then tell us about your "What if?" in the comments below!