The phrase “What If” is such a small phrase yet has more power than we realize. Often, when that simple little phrase comes to mind, we begin to spiral. Spiral into an emotional and mental state of turmoil. And guess what? Most, if not all those imaginary scenarios in our heads, are not true. So, why do we allow this simple little phrase to have such an immediate takeover? That’s a great question.
“What if” used to grip me so easily when it came to unknown situations. My mind would immediately jump to the worst possible case, and then I would believe it without anything to back it up. You know what this is also called, assuming. Assuming is not proper communication. Assuming is not healthy. Assuming is not the truth. So again, I ask, why do we let “What If” have such control over our lives?
Even as someone who used to give into the endless possibilities of “What If”, I can’t give you an exact answer. For some, it may be a coping mechanism. For others, it may be fear of the unknown. It could even be because we haven’t seen many healthy relationships in our lives. Whether you know the reason or not, it’s okay. You admitted that you spiral, and now it is time to address the root and move on.
How about when those thoughts come, we replace them with the good? I had a good friend tell me a few months back, “What do you have to gain?”, as I was in a spiral and very overwhelmed. At the time, my house process was beginning, I was job searching again, and so much more was going on. A lot of major changes were going on and the strength of negative “What Ifs” was going strong. That simple phrase heard from a friend completely changed my perspective.
We shouldn’t allow our emotions of the moment to control us to the point of destruction. Allowing “What If” to take root does exactly that. “What if I don’t get the job?” “What if I can’t make my bills?” “What if I can’t have children?” “What if I never meet someone?” These are all viable questions, especially in our ever-changing world, but these questions can’t dictate who we are. Yes, be wise when making decisions, but don’t allow a negative thought automatically to make you give up. Aren’t we worth more than that?
Months after my spiral due to change, all is well. I’m in my house and doing well. I found a new job and even had a summer side hustle. I even have met new people, which has only strengthened my journey in life. It took me a while to believe it was going to be okay, but all it took was God, a strong friend group, and reminders of how things can go right. “What If” doesn’t have to be bad, and the end result of what I was going through proves that.
Moments will come when you want to break down. Moments will come when it feels like nothing can go right. Moments will come when it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In those times, just remember that “What If” can mean something positive. You don’t have to succumb to negative thoughts; they can’t control you. Just look to the One who can help you escape instead of the one who only ever drags you down. You won’t regret it.