How to Use a Negative ‘What If’ to Your Advantage

negative 'what if'

How to Use a Negative ‘What If’ to Your Advantage

In September 2020, I got my first blogging gig. I had not applied for the job. My employer saw my post that says nothing about job hunts on a writer’s Facebook group.

My employer messaged me asking if I was interested in blogging. At that time I had zero experience in blogging. So the negative ‘what if’ questions started kicking in;

  • What if he rejects me when he discovers I have zero experience?
  • If he decides to employ and train me, what if I don’t learn fast?
  • What if he says my articles are poorly written?
  • What if I am not good enough?

The list was endless. I know I am not the only one in this category of negative ‘what ifs’.

As humans, when we are faced with opportunities we have never had before, it is normal for us to think of the worst scenario that can ever happen. This is your brain trying to shield you from possible pitfalls in the future.

Thus, my brain was trying to protect me from possible rejection. Rather than think of all the reasons in the world why I am not qualified for the work, what if I give the work an honest try and see how much I can learn from it?

When we are in that negative ‘what if’ spot, we rarely think of the benefits of positive ‘what ifs’ like

  • What if I got hired?
  • What if I get to interact with brilliant minds as a teammate?
  • What if my boss loves my writing style?
  • What if I am the best for this job?

The truth is we will never know what is on the other side of the bridge until we cross the bridge.

Funnily, thinking positive won’t even cost you a dime. So why are we afraid of the positive ‘what ifs’? Why can’t we deafen our ears to the voice that says you can’t and listen to the voice that challenges us to take up the challenge.

Challenges aren’t all scary. Some can be fun to ride on with the right mindset.

Since all that is demanded of us is to have a positive mindset (thinking positive no matter the odds) then why aren’t we operating from there? Fear?

Apparently, operating from a place of positive what-ifs isn’t the absence of fear. It is you choosing not to be drowned by your fears.

I chose to not be drowned by my fears when I told my employer that I had no experience and I would really love to learn while working for him. If I hadn’t turned down the volume of my fears, I would have declined the gig.

So I took the gig, learned while working and two years down the line, I have my blog. If I hadn’t stuck to the positive what if, would I be writing this article?

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this article. I might not even get the chance to own a blog this year.

Mind you, I still have negative ‘what if’ questions sometimes. Why you may ask?

These ‘what if’ questions come in ask subconscious thoughts that I don’t have total control over. However, I can choose how I react to these thoughts. That is, do I welcome the thoughts or do I talk back at them?

Summary

We might not have the full power to stop these thoughts but we can choose how to react. Since I chose to think positively then you too can do it. I believe in your abilities. Cheers to positive ‘what ifs’.

 

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