What if this or what if that. Questions that can tend to bog down the mind, spirit, and life. But what if you just stopped with the what ifs until the what if actually is seen coming?
When you can see through the fog that a bridge is on its way concerning your what if then start thinking about the what if and preparing for it. Otherwise, is it really an effective use of your time? Maybe if you are waging a war on the neighborhood or something you'd need to know the ins and outs of all the what ifs, but does it benefit otherwise?
Here you are. You shine a light on all corners of the what ifs. You let your mind go to every imaginable thing that might occur. No matter how outlandish. You focus on them. You let them fester. You keep shining that light and get nothing done.
Guess what? No what ifs came true because you did nothing. I guess that is one way to prevent the what ifs. Another way is to realize the likelihood of most of those coming true is the same odds as aliens probing you.
The mind goes to many a place. You want to protect yourself whether it is just a defense mechanism or fear or both. But what's to protect if nothing gets done?
So you throw away the what ifs and start. You get things done. But here comes the bridge. You can see it more clearly. The what ifs are there. You were right. You now have to deal with something you thought up or should have thought up. It is so bad. You have to deal with an edit.
Is that bridge really scary? So you have to edit again. Is it worth going on and on in your own head about it? Which actually takes more time? Which is actually a waste of time?
Maybe you need to cross the bridge and round the corner and find the what if wasn't even a what if. Maybe it was just part of the process that you worried about for little to no reason.
Maybe the bridge is crystal clear and you can cross with ease. Maybe it's just a bridge everyone crosses and nothing to worry about. Maybe we should stop thinking about the maybes and just go to it as well. One foot or word or edit or release after the other.
And then...what if...maybe...you finish. You save time. You learn. You grow. You stumble. You get back up. You go again.
You find the other side of the bridge isn't so bad. You find your what ifs aren't as bad as what you thought and dwelled on. You find you accomplish a lot. You find you can prepare for the what ifs that do happen when you see them coming and not waste time before. You may also find your sanity doesn't take a hit.
But what if I get a bad review? What if no one likes it? What if I suck? What if...
So what if you do? What's the worst that will happen?
If you get a bad review do you think the reviewer will hunt you down and go all Misery on you because you wasted their time? Or do you think they move on, you move on, and you realize you can't please everyone no matter who you are or what you put out? Which is more plausible? And thinking of it, does it really seem that bad? Not so world ending when thinking of it realistically.
Worrying about the what ifs won't get the job done. Carry on and deal with the bridges when you see them coming. Don't deal with the 50,000 bridges before you even begin that will probably never happen.
Do you put obstacles in your way? Do you worry about things you'll never control? How many what ifs did you think up on your first book? Your latest book?
Wait. What if no one likes this post? What if no one comments? What if...I'll live.
Enjoy life. Forget the strife.
Do nothing and nothing will happen!
Publishing is all about taking risks and moving forward. We've gotta keep finding the next bridge and keep taking those next steps!
I only cross bridges when I come to them. I mean what if I put a whole lot of energy into crossing and I get there and it's gone and I should have been putting my energy into finding a boat?
Love this post. Thanks, Pat!
Hey, Pat, where you're at! I was scrolling through the IWSG post and spotted Peggy's Cove. I should have known I had stumbled across a post by you. I miss your blog, my friend! I try not to get too hung up on the what ifs. I tell myself that there are many people dealing with things that are so much worse than whatever I have faced in my life. Your words "You get back up" are so important. That's the secret to getting through life, get back up and move forward. Otherwise you might as well lie down and die. Have a good one!
Great post, Pat. Thanks. BTW, is that Peggy's Cove? Sure looks like it.
Great post, Pat. Thanks. BTW, is that Peggy's Cove? It's been a while since we've been there, but...
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