I often use this question "What if?" as a sentence starter in my coaching and mentoring sessions to help my clients explore possibilities they might not have previously explored before. And although I already knew it was a powerful and enlightening question… It has suddenly escalated to another level!
Read on to find out more…
How this came about!
So the last almost 2 weeks have seen my Meniere's Disease return - this is a condition that effects my hearing and balance. It has rendered me pretty useless at times - not able to drive, go to work and on certain days have felt the need just to remain in bed and rest.
My initial reactions to this were frustration, despair and concern. They included the thoughts that it was a waste of time just sleeping, I was losing money from not being able to work and that being a single Mum, I pretty much have to deal with it alone. Although the symptoms ease at times, I'm still having to take things easy.
Of course I have had the support of Netflix and TV as a whole to while away the time I've been resting, and I found myself watching what at first seemed like a bizarre series - it was called "Life after Life" and is based on a book of the same name written by Kate Atkinson. The story has an unusual structure, repeatedly looping back in time to describe alternative possible lives for the main character as she dies time and time again in varying manners. She uses her half-memory of earlier lives to try to avert hers and others deaths, but in changing her actions other scenarios occur, sometimes with worse consequences. We know only too well that no one gets to live as many lives or have as many second chances to get the next step right, but it demonstrated that even if we were to be given that chance to change things, we may not like the result any better. It also shows that life is filled with infinite possibilities and a single action can create a sequence of change.
The main character Ursula, delivers a line… "they’re the 2 best words in the English language if you put them together “What if?”" This was very much spoken about the past and "What if" they'd done this or that to change the outcome. But with no way of changing what has come before this very moment in life, there is no real point in thinking "What if" It also reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from Peter Crone - The Mind Architect… “What happened, happened and couldn’t have happened in any other way… because it didn’t.”
It was one of those moments! I rewound that 5 second clip and played it again and again, my brain going into overdrive. It certainly got me thinking about the power of those words "what if?" but for me it resonated more in the hear and now.
I am not talking of "What if's" in the past and also not in the distant future… the "What if" I won the lottery, found the man of my dreams or created a 7 figure business… but in what I can actively do each day and in the moment that could make impactful and positive change. The "What if" that help to create moments of awareness and reflection, tiny tweaks in lifestyle or mindset, more purposeful actions and so much more, but are based on the possibilities they could lead to, if I were to let go of my negative stories, limiting beliefs, fear or the outcome.
The POWER of "What if?"
A "What if" question doesn't have a definite answer. With most other questions our brains look at the knowledge and experience we have and finds an acceptable answer, yet a "What if" question cannot be based on those. Instead it forces us to use our imagination, to create an answer normally filled with desire and possibilities which also tend to evoke strong emotional feelings.
What does this mean for me?
So "What if" this time that I am having to take off is for me not only to allow my body to mend, and give me a much needed pause in my busy life, but that I was supposed to watch that series, have that ahh-haa moment, in order to create a whole new thinking in my life that creates a whole different trajectory??
It has made me explore this idea further - the meaning of and the change those 2 small words "What if" could make.
"What if" I stopped looking so far into the future and projecting happiness or success there, but instead be happy and content in this moment, whatever that may be?
"What if" I regularly took more time for myself, listened more to my body when its trying to tell me to listen and take necessary action?
"What if" I accepted who I am as an accumulation of everything that has been before and it's exactly where I'm supposed to be?
"What if" I stopped caring about what others thought and just be unapologetically and authentically me?
"What if" I showed up more in my business like that… what impact could that make? "What if" I was brave enough to contact networking groups and corporate companies and pitched my workshop to them?
The possibilities are endless and I have found almost every other sentence and thought in the last week starting with "What if?"
How could this change your life?
So "What if" you took those 2 words and instead of using them to think of how your past or a situation/ relationship could have been different … and instead use them as a tool to make a difference in the choices you make today and moving forward? What could the possibilities be for you?
"What if" you are supposed to be exactly where you are right now?
"What if" you could let go of your past or negative stories you tell yourself?
"What if" you took that one action right now that you've been putting off?
"What if" you had the confidence to step out of your comfort zone?
"What if" you asked for that contract / job / payrise / promotion
"What if" you really could achieve it?
I invite you to take a couple of minutes to just sit with that thought… imagine "What if?" And see what comes up for you.
Do you want to explore this further?
Of course if you would like to explore your "What if?" a little more, see what the possibilities ahead might be and have someone to hold that space for you, prompt you if you initially struggle to see what they are, and help you bring them to life, please contact me or book a discovery call to find out more about my 1:1 coaching and mentoring services
What comes up for you could be all about rocking your business, just thriving in life or whatever your "What if" is.
Let me know how this has landed for you and your "What if" in the hear and now.