Achieve more. Change What If? to If…What…?

Goal, achievement, business

Stop wondering what the view is like from the top, and start planning your route there

So often it’s the little shifts in our thinking that can make all the difference.  If you have a dream, or a goal, or something you want to achieve, here’s a simple mind-shift to try.

Dreams might start up with ‘What If…?’ questions:

  • What If I ran my own business?
  • What If I made more money?
  • What If I didn’t have such a long commute?
  • What If I could spend more time with my family?

These what ifs might allow us to imagine what life might be like under these circumstances. They might start to instil a little dream about being our own boss, or having a bigger disposable income, or having more family or leisure time.

However, what these questions don’t do is help us work out how to get there, and ultimately that is what counts.  Without a plan, without a method of reaching our goal, asking ourselves ‘What If?’ may only give us a source of frustration and dissatisfaction.

The ‘What If….?’ question can plague us too.  If we have decided we want to start to act on our dream, it’s all too easy to ask:

  • What If I fail?
  • What If an obstacle comes up?
  • What If there are problems with my idea?
  • What If I don’t make money?

And then we find ourselves giving up on the dream, because it appears fraught with problems.  

So how about we change it around a little:

  • If I was going to run my own business, What would I need to do to get started?
  • If I was going to make more money, What would I need to do to make it happen?
  • If I was going to reduce my commute to work, What steps would I need to take?
  • If I was going to spend more time with my family, What would I have to change?

It’s a subtle difference, but the focus is on actually working out what steps need to be taken to make something happen.  You can take it from me – this WORKS.  This is how I ended up starting a business – some friends and I got together and asked ourselves the very question ‘If we were going to run with this business idea, What do we need to do to get started?’  Nine months later, we were open for business.

And then what about the doubtful questions that are bound to pop up?  We can change those too.

  • If it doesn’t work out, What will I do to deal with that?
  • If an obstacle comes up, What will I do to navigate it?
  • If a problem comes up with my idea, What will I do about it?
  • If I don’t make money, What will I do about it?

As Henry Ford said, “Obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your eyes off your goal”.  But obstacles can be navigated, provided you are clear about where you are trying to get to.  Asking yourself ‘If…What…?’ about your dreams and goals will help you get clearer about how to get there, and about how to navigate those obstacles when they arise.

Try it.  Every time you find yourself thinking ‘What If…?, stop for a moment, and apply the ‘If…What…?’ question to it.  See what happens.  And let us know how you get on!


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©Liz Wootton, 2013.  All Rights Reserved.


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