What if ...?

Are you someone who constantly ruminates over the outcome of a particular action? Perhaps you jump to the worst case scenario in your mind and tell yourself all the things that could possibly go wrong.


Sometimes, things seem so uncomfortable and difficult to us that we decide it's just easier and safer to not do them at all.

But WHAT IF you CAN do this?

WHAT IF it all goes perfectly?

WHAT IF you give yourself permission to start making the changes that will move you in the right direction?


Our bodies respond to our internal self-talk - the words we hear and pictures we conjure up in our heads. So when we tell ourselves negative things it's a bit like rubbing Aladdin's lamp - the genie pops up in a puff of smoke, says "As you wish" and gives us exactly what we have asked for.


We need to change that internal self-talk to something positive - and that can be easier said than done!


But WHAT IF there was a way to prove to yourself that you can learn to do things which seem uncomfortable or difficult?


Here's an exercise you can do which introduces an important principle - that action precedes confidence. It involves brushing your teeth with the hand you would not normally use. Yes, really!


Get a sense of yourself now, going into your bathroom. Use all your senses to imagine yourself there - see, feel, smell, hear the familiarity of your bathroom. See yourself reaching out for your toothbrush, and as your hand is just about to grasp it, allow this to be the trigger that instantly snaps you into picking it up with your opposite hand. Apply the toothpaste and begin brushing.


At first it will feel weird and uncomfortable and wrong and difficult. You may tell yourself it’s pointless and want to give up. But if you persevere, it will become increasingly easy over time. And you can celebrate your achievement by acknowledging, "I CAN do this uncomfortable, difficult thing and still be OK!”

Soon after that you come to realise that all uncomfortable, difficult things can become automatic and easy.

This knowledge then starts to map across into other areas of your life. You discover that you can do all sorts of things that once seemed impossible, simply because you have altered your neural pathways and allowed your unconscious to accept a new possibility.


Remember, confidence is a bi-product of previous success, and just like that genie in the lamp, your unconscious mind will always give you exactly what you ask for.


So why not ask yourself "WHAT IF?" and start making those changes today?



This article first appeared in the New Stour & Avon Magazine on 30 July 2021