I read the forecast the night before and it didn’t look promising. Rain, rain and more rain was expected throughout the day. I shared with my husband that I was disappointed I wouldn’t be able to go for a walk outside. He didn’t understand why I couldn’t just go to the gym if I wanted some exercise.
For me, going to the gym is very different than being able to walk outside. I enjoy walking around the neighborhood, watching all the spring flowers bloom and hearing the birds chirping. A walk in nature helps me relax and gets me in a creative mode.
I kept peering outside to see if it was raining yet. Could I beat the rain? Could I get at least a 15-minute walk in before the downpour started? I decided to take my chances and go for it. As I enjoyed my walk outdoors, it suddenly dawned on me that twenty minutes had passed and it hadn’t rained yet. When I hit 40 minutes on my walk, the sun graced me with its presence. With no sign of rain in sight, I continued to walk.
As I peered up at the sky, it occurred to me. What was the reason I couldn’t go for a walk— because it was going to rain? What exactly was going to happen if it did rain on me? As far as I could tell, the worst that thing to happen would be that I would come back wet and would have to change my clothes. By the time I got back to my house, I had walked a good hour and the sun was shining. I felt accomplished, and energized to get some work done.
I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme while coaching clients. It’s called the “what if” syndrome. What if I take that new job and I hate it? What if I start a new business and it fails miserably? What if I buy that house and I’m not happy there? You can play the “what if” game in every facet of your life. In fact, the “what if” game can keep you paralyzed. For any decision that you make in life, you can certainly find the reasons why it might not be the absolute best decision. If you’re a really dedicated thinker, you’ll be able to come up with a justifiable explanation in almost every situation.
Although being deliberate in your decision-making can be a positive asset, being too deliberate in your thinking can definitely work against you. It can hold you back from taking part in many life experiences that move you forward. Taking a risk, big or small, is part of living. It starts with something simple like taking the chance to go for a walk in unpredictable weather. It leads to something more major like making a career change.
I’ve decided that instead of playing the “what if “game, I’m going to consistently play the “so what, it’ll all work out” game. I suggest that you do the same.