top of page

The Positive "What If?"

When you really think about it, everything is neutral. It is our perspective that makes, literally, all the difference in the world. The yogis have said that it is the cautionary mind, the negative mind that gets accessed first in the thinking process. This makes complete sense for survival.

Most people, myself included, know how to use the “what if?” question for cautionary purposes; “What if I have an accident? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? What if this is not the right person for the job? For the marriage?” Asking ourselves what could go wrong has its place. It is prudent, necessary.

What happens when we tip the scales and create a habit of automatically following the cautionary “what if?” brain? We create extra stress in the body, stress that was meant to activate the nervous system so we could run away from danger or fight it. When our nervous systems are taxed over and over again by habitual thoughts of what could go wrong, we become ill, weak, nervous, hyperactive, despondent….the list goes on.

What can be done? How can we first even the score. And then, little by little tip the scale on the side of the positive mind, the one that sees opportunity, and dare I say…even sees the opportunity in challenges?

The mind is habitual unless reigned in. Yet, the good news is that over time it will respond to the creation of new habits. So it takes an effort at first to create the new habit. At first, you will have to introduce your habitual mind to your conscious creative mind. Be friendly, yet firm.

Try this--start by asking yourself a few key questions, like….

· Does there have to be a problem here?

· What could go right?

· What if it went well? What would that look like?

Flesh it out. The habitual mind will fight to be heard. Your conscious, creative mind can acknowledge it. It wants to keep you safe. That is its job. One of my dogs is like this. She is wired to look for what could go wrong, or what needs fixing, or what she may need to defend. When I take her to the dog park, her idea of having fun is to supervise the other dogs. I talk to her much the same way I am suggesting you talk to your mind. I say, “Thank you for your help. It is not needed here. You can relax now, and I’ll let you know when I need your help.” She gets it, at least for a while…