By Nancy Virden (c)2016
Asking “what if?” can save your career, your happiness, and even your life. Contrary to having a negative effect on your peace of mind, the question is a robust catalyst for mental health and success.
First time I tried to pass on this exciting tidbit to a friend, she rebuffed it with, “Oh, I don’t think so. Every time I ask that question it brings me down.”
My perspective is different. You see, I am one in four. I am one in ten. I am one of 494,169.
Statistically, one in four Americans in any given year will struggle with a mental health issue. For one in ten, that struggle is severe depression. Nearly 500,000 people are hospitalized for intentional self-harm each year. As a survivor of major depression and attempted suicide, I know the value of asking, What if I can develop a meaningful life?
You may not experience depression or any mental illness or perhaps you have or currently deal with such a struggle. Regardless whether you desire to ease your emotional pain or to advance your career, there are three excellent reasons to ask this potent question, what if?
1. You Will Find Your Power. What if I am not helpless?
I successfully manage major depression and anxiety by changing my rhetoric. From nothing will ever change to I have options, asking what if reveals my power of choice. What if this too shall pass? What if something good will come of this struggle?
Benni was certain of her helplessness. After switching majors three times, she did not finish school. She carried a torturous load of student debt, and found no suitable job in her financially hard-hit town.
It was 2010. To hear her tell it now, she fell victim to her times. While her friends moved away, graduated from college, married, and began their careers, she accepted a minimum wage position and moved back in with her parents. There she watched television while her life passed by.
In general, she believed the lie that she was trapped without choices. I cannot make enough money to buy a car to find a better job. I cannot finish school because my debts are already too high. I cannot afford to leave my parents’ home.
Eventually, after difficulties at home, she began to think, what if I could and it will be difficult?
Benni worked harder at her job, earning two promotions and raises. What if I can ask people for help led to an affordable car. What if I can afford a place motivated her search until she found an apartment. Eventually, the what ifs took her to a new town with more possibilities, a new relationship, and a good job.
Part 2 of this 3-part series picks up with You Will Overcome Paralyzing Fear. -Comments Always Welcome
Today’s Helpful Word
Ephesians 3: 20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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