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Use Your What-If's to Give You Courage

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nysubwayGlenn Berger, psychotherapist and creator of the application Shrinky for Anxiety, wrote about “what-ifs” in his blog this week. It reminded me of an experience.

For my life I take the “what ifs” beyond the horrible thing to imagining that the eventual outcome won’t be the end of the world.

A few decades ago, for example,  I wanted to buy a commercial building to house a tutoring program I had started. I knew very little about real estate, so I bought a book called “How Not to Get Taken Every Time.” I read it and prepared to negotiate for this building I had spotted and loved.

I certainly experienced anxiety and fear, especially because my husband was too afraid of this financial move himself to offer me any encouragement and support.

For a while I was frozen with fear of failure. So, I imagined “what if” I was successful in getting this building, ran a successful program there, but reached a time when I could no longer pay the mortgage and bills? I imagined that I would lose the building and not have it anymore. That’s when it hit me! “I don’t have the building now, so if I lost it I would only be back to where I am now.” What a relief that realization was!

I went ahead with my plans and enjoyed two glorious years running my tutoring program in that building. When I closed that program, it wasn’t the money so much that was a problem, but my passion had declined.

What is your experience with “what if’s”?

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