As someone who struggles with anxiety, this quote resonates with me so much! Even people who perhaps don’t have anxiety as a diagnosis probably know what the what ifs are.
You know… what if I fail? What if the hurricane hits us? What if my kid needs me and I’m not there? What if I end up embarrassing myself horribly? What if they don’t like me? What if I get fired? What if they think I’m stupid?
The what ifs are endless… and the crazy ridiculous thing is… most of them never come true! We spend all this time worrying about things that might happen… that could happen… but that really rarely do happen.
The what ifs, the worries about the future… they steal the joy of now! If right now is good, then why waste time worrying about what’s going to happen at 5 pm? (Or insert any random time you are currently worrying about.)
Enjoy the good of the moment! Look at the life that is going on around you. Soak it in. There are so many wonderful things to be enjoyed if we take the time to notice them. And to notice them, we have to turn off the worries about the future.
What is going to happen at 5 pm (or whenever) is going to happen regardless of any worry you put it into it. And it probably won’t be nearly as bad as you’re thinking! So enjoy your moments and focus on what’s right in front of you right now.
All of these worries, all of these what ifs are hypothetical. A synonym of hypothetical is imagined. Isn’t that good? The thoughts are imagined. They are things that we dreamed up as possibilities but haven’t happened yet and probably never will! It’s fiction! But they stop us from enjoying the life that is going on right in front of us.
There are times it’s really hard not to worry. I totally get it. And I’m not talking about the truly traumatic moments when you are in the middle of something awful.
These what ifs… they are about something that hasn’t even happened. Something that you are spending so much time thinking about, consumed by, that you are missing the life right in front of you. The good moments, the little things of life that make it worth living.
I could worry about traveling by myself and my daughter… or I can just get in the car and go and have epic adventures with her.
I could spend hours worrying about that presentation I have to give… or I can prepare and then go give deliver it like a boss.
I could worry about whether my friends actually like me, whether they are mad at me, (you know those stupid what ifs that pop up sometimes for absolutely no reason) or I can use my I ams, remind myself of the things I know that are true, and focus on the here and now. Screw you, What ifs! I’m taking my life back!
We could spend our life being afraid of the hypothetical or we can just be brave and live life anyway. Make your choice, friend!