Episode 59: Turning Your What If’s Into Even If’s
Welcome back to a new episode. I’m really excited to bring this topic to you today because it’s a really impactful and powerful tool that is so easy to utilize and really it packs quite a punch.
Today I’m addressing what to do with all your what if’s and I know you have them right now. Schools are starting up soon and COVID is still hanging around. I’m in CA and we still have the mandatory mask policy and everywhere you go there are plastic and barriers up blocking you from cashiers and others.
It’s can feel scary, limiting, and out of our control which isn’t exactly the recipe for confidence, right?
It’s important to remember that confidence is simply another name for certainty.
Through the years we’ve heard the term confidence being thrown about and it’s easy to have picked up a misrepresentation of what confidence really is.
We say things like, “She’s just so confident” or “I’m just not really a very confident person” and we blanket this into one whole as if it’s a state of always being and if you’re not then you’re not and when you’re not you see others that you think are and you wish you were like that.
And that’s not accurate. We’re never anything on an absolute plane. When we see a baby and we say things like, “Oh they’re just such a happy little guy” that doesn’t mean the baby doesn’t also cry and throw huge tantrums from time to time. It just means that they’re happy on a regular basis.
Confidence isn’t a one-time achievement. Done! Now I’m confident forever because I’m a confident person. It just doesn’t work like that.
Confidence is a feeling. Just like happy is a feeling. Sadness is a feeling. We’re not always sad or even always happy. You can feel confident and insecure in the same day – in the same hour even. We can feel confident in certain areas – like I’m confident at my work and what I do but not confident in speaking to a group of people.
And when you replace confidence with certainty you’ll hear the difference and it makes sense to us why we’re certain at our job responsibilities – we’ve practiced them. We feel certain that we can do the job but uncertain when asked to do something new or something that you don’t know what the outcome will be so you don’t feel certain about it.
This is what I want to talk to you about today. Being able to create certainty even, no especially in times when the circumstances aren’t certain.
And just to add the circumstances are never certain. We never know when an earthquake is imminent – I know scientists can predict and make educated assumptions but the future isn’t certain because it hasn’t happened yet. We feel certain just because we’re acting on faith that the future will play out how we’ve decided to think about it. How it was the day before.
COVID really threw people for a whirl because it seemed to come out of nowhere. My kids are in the youth symphony and just like that rehearsals were moved to zoom and after the season was over and performances canceled they have to return their music and for a lot of the kids they don’t have access to it anymore. They said, “uh, I had it in my music bag that I left in the music room at school and they closed school so I can’t get it back just yet” – it was pretty quick for most of us.
We thrive on certainty. Our brains really want certainty because without certainty it goes wild with what if’s and speculations and catastrophizing and all kinds of drama.
It doesn’t feel good and it’s not a great place to make decisions from.
So how can you create certainty even in the midst of an uncertain future and undecided circumstances?
I’m a HUGE advocate for planning ahead.
Preparation precedes power.
So how can you prepare though for unknowns?
Let me ask you this, how do you prepare for a vacation?
Say you’re going to a new place – since we’re just dreaming let’s dream of the tropics.
For the most part, you can assume it’s warm – it’s the tropics. But it also rains a lot there and on occasion, there’s hurricanes and wind storms – Just last month there was a huge dust storm that covered the Caribbean and into Florida.
So what do you? Do you cancel your trip because you don’t know what it’s going to be like? Do you pack your entire wardrobe just in case?
I don’t know what you do or how you prepare for your trip but I’m certain you’ve got an idea.
I want to teach you a simple tool to help you in your life that creates a sense of control and certainty in the face of the unknowns.
This is learning to turn the WHAT IF’s into EVEN IF’s
This looks like:
What if schools don’t open back up and my kids can’t go back to their campus’?
What if it spikes up again and we have even more restrictions?
What if we can’t go on our trip that we’ve had planned for two years because things are still closed?
These what if’s are a breeding ground for insecurity, lack, and worry because it’s all focused on can’t’s.
Notice – what if schools don’t open back up and my kids can’t go back to their campus’
So instead of indulging in this – and you know what I mean by indulging – we take time to really hunker down and think about these things but these things aren’t helping you – they feel terrible and remember how you feel creates what you do – how you take action – for most of us in this setting we’re not about to be all gung-ho. We stop what we’re doing and worry which is the equivalent to running on the hamster wheel.
We’re moving but not going anywhere. We’re just wearing ourselves out.
So Take that what if and just replace ONE word.
ONE POWERFUL word – EVEN
Instead of What if – turn it into EVEN if
Even if schools don’t open back up I will figure this out.
Even if COVID spikes up again and more restrictions are in place I will make do with what I have.
Even if our trip is canceled I will make other accommodations and we can still have fun with what we have.
Do you see how huge of a difference this makes?
It’s taking your limited perspective and changing it to one of certainty and possibilities.
It turns your can’t into CANS.
It forces your brain to stop focusing on all the lack and asks it to explore what you can do and then from there you get to decide what you WILL do.
This works in ANY SETTING.
What if people don’t like my creation?
EVEN if people don’t like me I will continue to create because this is important to me.
What if no one listens?
Even if no one listens I’m still going to share because this is powerful and meaningful to me.
When you take your focus from being fear-based and uncertainty into a confident and certain setting you create a foundation for yourself no matter what the circumstances are.
We sometimes think that we have to wait and just see what’s going to happen and then move forward but I’m telling you, there is power in preparation –
Your brain is going to offer the what if’s and it’s not a problem that it does – the problem comes when we indulge in the uncertainty of it and get caught spiraling in worry. Your brain is just doing what it’s wired to do – to look for the unknowns and scan for potential danger. It’s your job however to direct the focus and put it back into certainty.
Even if that happens it’ll be okay because I will…
It forces you to look ahead and decide what’s right and best for you and when you have a plan you create a solid ground to move forward onto.
You create certainty even in uncertain circumstances.
While we don’t know what the future holds for us we can know what we’re going to do and how we’re going to show up and most importantly we can know that we’re going to be okay – even if all that happens you’re going to be okay because I’ll take care of us.
I won’t indulge in thoughts that don’t serve us.
I will keep looking at what’s possible.
I like to think of extremes – I think a lot of us do. Our brain is good at that and we think well yeah, but…
And even in extreme circumstances we still have our agency to create these even if’s.
There’s an example told by Kitty DeRuyter. She was born and raised in Indonesia. She was from a well off family and experienced a great deal of hardships in her life especially during WWII.
I highly recommend you checking out her complete story because I could never do it justice and it’s something that will stick with you forever but I just want to share a portion of it.
She and her family were taken captive by the Japanese. They were sent to an internment camp where the girls and the boys were parted. You can imagine the extreme hardships they had to bear and how easy it would be to slip into the can’t’s and the what if’s.
What if this never ends?
What if someone I love gets killed?
What if I get hurt?
What if…what if…
And she admits while being a young girl during this time in her life that it was easy to give in to hate, and mental victimhood as being a legitimate victim of war but her mother took a very different approach.
She walked the path of EVEN IF…
She taught her daughter that hate is draining and expends a great deal of energy and that they would need every ounce of energy they had to keep going.
Instead of indulging in what if’s and stopping there – she taught her daughter and lived by example the EVEN if principle.
Even if they try and take away our rights and our humanity I will uphold my virtue and my values and choose love because love fuels, love heals, love fills.
She and her daughter both made it out of the camp alive. They immigrated to the United States. Her mother was an example and teacher and a great leader for so many – and still, as we talk and learn from her because she lived the principle of EVEN IF.
She was a walking example of the power of preparation.
We don’t know what the future holds and we don’t need to know all the details.
You know enough.
You are enough.
Even in extreme circumstances, you can create certainty.
I invite you to adopt this tiny yet powerful tool into your lives.
It takes your what if’s because we all have them and will continue to have them and turns them into solid footing.
Even if this happens I will…
Thanks for tuning in today. I always love having you here!
Before you go I wanted to share just a little note about what’s coming up this week. On August 1 2020 I’m launching my august class on self-love. Which is anything but fluff and woo-woo.
Isn’t it interesting that we can exercise this UNCONDITIONAL love for some and yet we’re suuuuper CONDITIONAL when it comes to loving ourselves?
We offer NO wiggle room. No room for mistakes or being human really.
We set THE HIGHEST standards and ridiculously unattainable measurements for ourselves.
We criticize just about EVERYTHING we say, feel, and do.
We think things like, “Ah, you’re complaining again! You shouldn’t be so negative!” (as if negatively scolding ourselves will correct our initial negativity)
We place all kinds of “rules” for ourselves and think that IF we become this perfect version of ourselves THEN we’ll be happy – but really what this means is THEN we’ll be nice to ourselves.
The topic of self-love might make some squirm with discomfort like it’s fluff or woo-woo but that’s only because you’ve probably heard well-intended but misinformed advice about what self-love actually is.
Self-love is anything but a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity to your overall well-being and impact that you can have on the world around you.
It is the solid FOUNDATION that enables us to create healthy, thriving relationships with others, to be able to set boundaries, to maintain an assertive and an alert state of mental health, and even increases your overall longevity. Definitely NOT FLUFF.
Come join my class – It’s more than amazing.
31 days of sheer content, transformative tools, and confidence-building material – you will NOT want to miss this.
Out of all the relationships you have had, currently have, and will yet have in your life – you spend THE MOST time in the relationship you have with yourself.
It’s such a shame that we don’t spend more time learning how to forgive, befriend, and love that person.
Ready to make peace with the girl in the mirror?
Don’t hesitate – join me!
Notes: Kitty De Ruyter Source