By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Asking “what if?” can save your career, your happiness, and even your life. The question is a robust catalyst for mental health and success. Whether you desire to ease your emotional pain or 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? Benni was sure of her helplessness in 2009. After switching majors three times, she did not finish school. She carried a torturous student debt load and found no suitable job in her financially hard-hit town. To hear her tell it now, she fell victim to her times. 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, 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 better job.
2. You Will Overcome Paralyzing Fear.
What if I survive? Richard occasionally is overwhelmed with thoughts that his life may soon end. These false premonitions derail his career because he sees little purpose in hard work. He figures it is pointless to push if he will not reap the benefits. Recently, he began to wonder, what if I survive? By challenging the assumption of an early demise, Richard is slowly overcoming defeatist behaviors. He makes more contacts and sees financial improvement. His struggle is ongoing, and by enlisting what if, he is shaking up his status quo. What if your survival despite your worst fears was guaranteed? What would you be doing then? Do that!
3. Hope Will Propel You Forward.
What if there is more? Sitting in a circle with ten people who shared the struggles of depression, anxiety, and addiction, I knew we also shared an unreasonable sense of despair about life. We were trying to learn to live one day, even one moment, at a time. The psychologist said, “What if your negative beliefs about the world and yourself can change?”
A sense of possibility made its way around the room. What if I find help to leave an abusive relationship? What if I learn new skills and land a better job? What if I have value? People’s lives began to change as we took risks and saw progress. Eleven years later, I no longer have a sense of worthlessness or despair. In their places are joy and fulfillment. Most of all, my hope is no longer misplaced and centers on the love of God for me.
None of this fit into my negative false belief system until someone asked, “What if…?”
Today’s Helpful Word
I pray that out of his glorious riches [God] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
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, forever and ever!
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!
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: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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