India-First-Global-Insights-Analysis -Sharing-PlatformIndia-First-Global-Insights-Analysis -Sharing-Platform

“WHAT IF” syndrome

, June 28, 2022, 0 Comments

what-if-syndrome-marketexpress-in“What if” is a question that has stopped me and held me back so many times in life. I call it the “what if” syndrome.

It is this typical habit ( or so it seemed in my life earlier) of creating possible scenarios in my mind on how things can possibly unfold if I took action in a certain direction.

My tendency was to create as many scenarios in my mind as I could think of, and guess what, most of them were negative scenarios based on my fears….

And almost always they were leading to thoughts and feelings about being “rejected”, “cheated”, “humiliated” , “embarrassed”, “financially distressed” or simply hurt.

And almost every time in case of new things and opportunities, it held me back from taking action…

In school, “what if” I gave a rose to the girl I so like and admire, and she rejects it? What if she slapped me ? ( Trust me, that’s possible in a culture where I come from). I did not give that rose…I never could make friends with that girl in school.

In college, “what if” I applied for that role of club leader and they made fun of me because I come from a small town, with little exposure to the ways of life in the big city? What if they asked me questions about my previous experience, where I had none ? I never applied for that role…and still wish I could have been that leader.

In job, “what if” I asked for a better salary and they withdrew the new job offer. I took the job at a low salary and continued getting frustrated with the salary I was getting, and eventually quit and was without a job for months..

In my early career, “What if” I quit my job for that business opportunity ( pizza outlet) my best friend was keen on and it fell flat, leaving me unsuccessful and without income ? I did not invest and jumped into the business opportunity, while my friend went ahead and set up a successful business, expanding rapidly to 4 restaurants and outlets in just 2 years.

“What if” kept on killing my dreams and desires in life for decades….simply because I ended up creating imaginary scenarios, drained all my energy in thinking about consequences, and did not take action…I was too fearful…

And when I was 35 years old, that girl ( whom I did not give the red rose) confessed to me…” I never asked her…I never approached…She said if I had given her the rose or even asked her out, we would have been together….coz I was after all the “brainy” guy in our class !!

I got my lesson. Of course the long hard way !

Now whenever I believe there’s something good that I should do, I give it a shot, even if I fear the negative consequences. But this new habit became part of me after I did a lot of self development work, getting to understand my insecurities, my fears, identifying my anchors and resolving them, understanding my triggers and ensuring they remain deactivated, and building inner resilience and strength.

Learning new things, gaining new perspectives and capability building related to this aspect of life ( i.e. not getting stuck and held back by all the “what ifs” related fears) immensely helps in progressing ahead towards our professional and personal goals.

Do you find yourself relating to this ?