What if … followed by almost anything a person can imagine. Deadly negative thinking at it’s best due to the fact there is no valid reason to be torturing ourselves this way.
The concept is based on fear which we project in our minds before anything ever has a chance to happen. Why do I avoid people? Because I am always expecting something bad to happen.
This what if syndrome is unstoppable in a shy persons mind because we over think everything to the point where our beliefs become based on what if or what could go wrong.
Even when I think about social anxiety or depression I can see the presence of what if. It’s one major flaw we can change if we want to bad enough.
Avoidance has its own problems
There is no chance to fix a weakness when we refuse to face something. Our brain simply makes the matter worse because it’s trying to keep us safe and comfortable.
Safety from the uncertainty to be more accurate, and this will destroy us from within little bits at a time. Before we understand the reasons we have hidden away from everything.
My own struggles lead me down a very slippery slope and one that takes far more effort to get back up from. I was almost to the point of taking drastic one-time measures and couldn’t explain how I went from being a little shy to being petrified of everyone.
Honestly, 17 years of drinking and being drunk led me to have almost no useful coping mechanisms to readjust and I was scared of life.
Self-esteem and self-confidence were at the very bottom with only fear in my rear view mirror. I could no longer care what happened to myself or others and was desperate not to have to look at myself anymore.
The irony is I used drinking to be the social guy I wanted but was never actually able to be that guy. I was lost in a world of fantasy and denial hoping I just wouldn’t wake up one day.
Why is this relevant you may be wondering? Because I intend to show you there is hope for anyone dealing with fear.
Logically I can list hundreds of what if scenarios and continue adding more every time I think of new ones. But emotionally this is so taxing on my perception of life.
Perception is shaped by positive or negative beliefs
One critical thing to know about perception is that we are the boss of how we view ourselves and others.
The more I read and teach myself ways to change my behavior I learn what really goes on in my own mind.
The confusing world doesn’t look so confusing once you deal with the most horrific what-if types of thinking.
These destroyed my belief system and led me through hell.
But in doing the work I slowly gained many eye-opening things.
I can only describe it as the tingling feeling you get when you realize you have been doing something wrong your entire life.
That feeling when you find something that must be true because you instantly say to yourself ah ha!
And that is when you know you are close to something that will absolutely make your life worth dealing with again. Facing fears and taking on small tasks to gain more self-confidence.
Leading to even more ah-ha moments and more desire to fix what has been almost forgotten buried deep below the surface of our minds.
The craving for more information, wanting to know everything we need to know to undo the damage. Feeling hope for the first time in forever and beginning to breathe again.
Our beliefs are not a permanent thing and our perception of this world can be changed.
We need to desire this before it can happen and to begin to crave a future full of pleasure instead of pain. Keeping in mind that fear is only an emotion we can hit back with full force as soon as possible.
Beyond the self-doubts and the worrying freedom awaits
In order for us to change our beliefs, we need some type of system that will slowly make us accountable. Instead of using what if as a way to keep us down.
We must find a way to bring things into our mind which excites us and helps to eliminate the unnecessary pain. If I stop saying to myself what if this happens or what if I can’t do something.
I begin to realize a few things:
- The value I perceive of myself has to be high or I miss out on doing anything exciting.
- Confidence is gained because I am good at doing things. I just have to remind myself to take credit for those.
- Keeping a closed mind makes me lose control of any possible alternatives which would alleviate my pain.
- Learning is the easiest way to turn things around and reshape my belief system
- We gain more from what we don’t already believe in. Because we stop trying to predict the future.
What does this all mean for someone just stumbling onto my post? Give yourself credit for what you already know. There is a reason you have unique talents and need to develop them further.
Everyone suffers from a lack of confidence when they are not great at something. It’s impossible to be great before you have learned what it will require.
A closed mind keeps us stuck in the same place we have been miserable sitting in. Open up to things even the silliest or foolish and be willing to try before assuming anything.
Education isn’t just about a career, it’s the most beneficial way to continue to grow and work out our minds.
I can’t fail at something without believing it’s a failure. Who cares how many times it takes to learn something. Only when you quit trying do you ever really fail.
Guessing leads to failure, knowledge brings results
Start somewhere that is easy, somewhere you know you will not fail and start to work on that first. As you gain an appreciation for your successes you will crave more of them.
When you realize your beliefs are wrong you need to challenge them, know why they’re wrong and what else out there you should turn into a belief.
Notice you will always have areas of your life that need work. It is great to understand yourself as an optimist if you’re a pessimist now.
There is a saying that jumped into my mind a second ago, that is:
If everything you believe is wrong or causes you pain, then do the opposite.
What is the opposite of thinking about what if…?
Let me leave you with one more thing
Fear shapes our beliefs and distorts our reality. We need to find out why we started believing something to be true because in order to change our beliefs we must challenge our fears and face them.
We can only face fear when we figure it out and care enough about ourselves to confront the pain. But there are ways to turn fear into excitement.
Since excitement can lead us to pleasure we can reshape our way of thinking to stop avoiding people, places, and things. We just have to be willing to start somewhere and keep trying regardless of our comfort levels.
Why do I avoid people? Because I believed they would somehow only hurt me. When I can see opportunities to enjoy other people and find them exciting I no longer need to fear them.
I want to thank you for reading along as I enjoyed writing this article. Hopefully, it helped you and you will share with me below in the comments.
The answer to the opposite of thinking about what if is Knowledge…