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“But what if it goes well?” A technique to help stay mindful of what could go right

We all have fears, and we all experience self-doubt. All of us at one point or another have heard that voice in our heads say, “What if this happens, what if that happens, and what if the worst case scenario happens to me?” I have my own fears, like everyone else. Fear of flying, fear of needles, and even more self-reflective is my fear that I am not capable. It is normal to experience fears and to sit with the thought of, “What if this doesn’t go well at all?”

What we do not want to happen is to let our fears and self-doubt create obstacles that feel we can’t overcome. We do not want the story we tell ourselves to create this sense of, “Well why should I try anyway?” The question I always ask is,”But what if it goes well?”

This is a time to self-reflect and write down all the ways that facing your fears could go well. What are the potential positive outcomes of facing your fear, and what can you visualize happening that may create positive change? Let’s say you face your fear, and it goes well, what may that look like? What might be different for you? What might surprise you? What might empower you?

Often times, our worst fears do not come true. It is more likely that we will face a fear and experience positive outcomes throughout and after the process. Whether it is facing a fear such as flying, or facing self-doubt and our own self-critic, take a moment to ask yourself, “but what if it goes well?”

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Photo taken by Monica Coulter in McKinney, Texas, 2016.

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