The human mind is very smart, so smart that it doesn’t even understand what it’s talking about sometimes! We come up with infinite scenarios, interesting ways of winning arguments from the past, and most importantly, the mind is the king of ‘What if’s?’.
If we think about it, we’d notice that most of our fears stem from the ‘what if’s’ of the mind. What ifs about others, what ifs about our future, what ifs about our health, what ifs about our family, what ifs about our reputation, what ifs about our finances. You name it, the list is almost endless.
But how many of our what ifs have actually come to pass? Although very few of them actually turned out to be true, it does seem almost impossible to come out of them sometimes. The unknown and fear can be very crippling. There is almost some sort of comfort in the misery of fear.
Is there a way of overcoming the fear of what ifs? Yes, and good news is; it’s quite simple.
Here’s the trick:
1. Sit down and write a list of all our what ifs, of all our great fears. (You can stand and write if you wish. Sitting isn’t mandatory. Just saying!) But write on paper please.
2. Think about your what if’s and write the worst case scenario for every single one of them.
3. Go to the most extreme of each what if. If the worst case scenario involves dying or being homeless or starving to death, so be it!
4. Read it.
5. Stick that piece of paper on your wall for one week and look at that little ‘treasure’ everyday! A few times even.
By the end of the week or even sooner, when we come to terms with the fact that nothing is really the end of the world, our what ifs and our fears just vanish. Why? Because the mind is amazing at dramatising everything. Who is to say that anything means the end of the world? Somehow, in some way or another, everyone survives and if we don’t we are heading towards the same destination anyway. The paths may be many but at the end of the day it’s about what we see and do on the path that matters. Constantly dwelling on illusory scenarios is a waste of our precious life. Dance, rejoice and eliminate the what ifs. Life is already full of ‘What a beauty!’s” and “What a blessing.!’s”. Let’s even replace our what ifs with ‘What the hell! Let me try this new thing!” Because the mind dwells, and an empty mind, is!
The fear of suffering is much greater than the suffering itself. ~The Alchemist
Truly so, many of us live in the constant fear of many things. It could be as simple as the fear of an exam. For weeks, we fear the exam, but when we think about it, during the exam itself, there is no fear. The what if’s take up so much mind space unnecessarily and if only we were to eliminate them, it would allow so much freedom.
A balloon filled with good air is free to fly, whereas a balloon filled with water can be pretty heavy! God forbid it’s dirty water! When we realise that the what ifs are really full of noise and no substance, it only feels right to let them go and drop the thoughts as they come.
What if you tell me about your worst “what ifs?!” ? If we refuse to dig our ‘what ifs’, our tomorrow just remained filled with more ifs and buts, while the train of life slips away saying “What the hell?! I’m leaving!” 😉