What if This Tool Works?
Alice laughed. 'There’s no use trying,' she said: 'one can’t believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
I found a powerful tool, and I want to share it with you. I’ve been using it to alleviate anxiety and step into a space of ease and inspiration. It’s really simple, and I almost overlooked it when I came across it in a book I’ve been reading recently.
As I wrote in this post, many days I wake up to a mild level of anxiety and fear - it’s one of the key reasons I do my morning routine: access clarity and peace of mind, get reconnected to who I am and what I’m here for, and fall back in love with life.
The past couple weeks, though, my morning anxiety has been gone. Poof.
The context: the future is nothing but possibilities and potentialities - good and bad ones, joyful and sorrowful ones, peaceful and scary ones, exciting and dull ones. Anxiety feeds off particular possibilities - the scary ones, the ones that might hurt, the ones we’d like to avoid.
It happens like this:
Our fear mechanism asks “What if…?” It asks these “what ifs” so subtly that we usually don’t recognize that it’s happening.
Then the anxiety and fear emotions kick in. Many of us don’t have an outlet to release or transform those emotions, so
The negative “what ifs” and the anxious emotions, each reinforcing the other, cycle turbulently within us.
This process, believe it or not, is really a loving process. There’s nothing that cares more about our safety and security than the fear mechanism and the emotions of anxiety and fear. I think that it’s a powerful process to be thankful for - our ancestors wouldn't have made it if humans didn't have this safety mechanism.
Unfortunately, the process gets out of hand and, like an overbearing parent who tells us it’s for our own good, constrains and limits our lives. However, there are ways to break through the constraints of this vicious cycle. This post is about one of those ways.
If anxieties and fears are the result of particular “what ifs” plucked out of the vast possibility and potential of the future, well then let’s see what other “what ifs” we can consciously pluck out of that realm of possible futures:
What if today turns out to be a fantastic day?
What if this venture succeeds?
What if my conversation with her today goes exceptionally well?
What if my students are profoundly impacted by our class today?
What if my business takes off and has rippling impacts in the world?
What if I gain access to a new level of courage and peace of mind this week?
What if I am already living my best life and all I need to do is wake up to it?
Creating positive “what ifs” is a realtime anxiety reduction technique. We all experience fear and anxiety, and it’s helpful for us to have tools like this.
I’ve added “what if” creations to my evening routine as I fall asleep and to my morning routine as well. I create “what ifs” that feel good and inspire me. They’re “what ifs” for today, tomorrow, and this week, and they’re “what ifs” for this year and the rest of my life.
“What if I wake up in perfect peace in the morning, ready to hop out of bed to enjoyably and creatively start my day?”
What if you actually tried this trick?
What if it made a profound difference in your life?
What if this is the tip you’ve been waiting for?
What if it makes a whole new world and future of possibility available to you?
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️