Are You Wasting Time Playing the ‘What If’ Game?


Do you ever feel like you aren’t where you’re meant to be in your life?  Do you wonder how things would look if you would have made different decisions along the way?

We’ve all played the ‘what if’ game.

We know it’s not good for us to do.  We get that we can’t travel back in time and make different decisions, so why do we waste time wondering how things could have been instead of focusing on what we can do now to build the life we want?

I was having dinner with a good friend of mine the other day. As usual we ended up talking about our businesses. In the middle of our conversation, I looked at him and said “I am not at all where I thought I would be- in business or in life.” I explained how my business doesn’t look at all the way I thought it would by now. Also, I definitely didn’t think I was going to be 35 and single.  I’ve been working really hard over the years to build something great. Although my journey has taken me to unexpected places and created amazing opportunities along the way, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m still not where I’m supposed to be.

After a few minutes of rambling, he looked at me and laughed. He reminded me of all of the things I have accomplished, and he helped me put things into perspective. It takes time to accomplish big things. It’s messy along the way, and that’s okay. It’s life. Thank goodness for the friends in our lives that help us see things differently when we get caught up in the drama we create in our minds.

We’ve all played the “what if” game.  What if I would’ve stayed with my boyfriend? What if I would’ve taken that job?  What if I would’ve started my business five years ago?  Playing the “what if” game drives us crazy.

If you aren’t where you thought you would be in life, join the club. But you know what? it’s okay! Everything you’ve done up to this point has helped you become the person you are meant to be. The fact that you’re reading this article and that you’re part of Loveawake proves that you are awesome and making big things happen.  My bet is that you are one of those people who doesn’t give themselves enough credit for where they are right now.

Today is the day to stop what if-ing. You made the choices you did for a reason so don’t look back.  The next time you start playing the “what if” game, here are three things to help you get back on track.

1. Write Your Story

Everyone has a story. We all have experiences that we learn from and can share with others. When you start questioning the choices you have made, stop!  Instead, write a list of everything you are most proud of in your life and what have you accomplished up to this point. Don’t leave out the little things. Include everything from having the guts to leave your job and start a business to being the best mom you can be to your kids. Include the things you know others admire about you. Do people come to you for advice because you seem to have it all figured out? Are you the person on the team who always comes up with those awesome creative ideas? Write down your accomplishments and realize the choices you made along the way that have helped you achieve them.

2. Throw Away Your Guilt- You Don’t Have Time for That

I have far too many conversations with women who feel guilty about the decisions they’ve made in their lives. Whether they left a good career to start a business that didn’t go as well as they had hoped, or they are working moms who feel bad about putting their kids in daycare, they can’t stop feeling guilty about the situation.  We’ve all been faced with forks in the road, and we made the decision to go down one path. We can’t look back, we can only move forward.  Feeling guilty wastes energy we could be using to do something much more productive.

3. Glamorize the Future, Not the Past

When we play the “what if” game, why is the decision we opted against always the winner? We say things like “If only I had taken that job. My life would be amazing right now.” Ha! Come on, we know better than that!  It’s easy to glamorize what would have been if we’d only chosen a different path.

We need to stop romanticizing about what could have been and instead glamorize the future.  Believe that the best is yet to come.  Be committed to being present, appreciate what you have now and always move ahead.

There are many fun games to play in life. But playing “what if” is not one of them. The next time you start thinking about how you should have made different choices, stop! Remember the decisions you’ve made have helped you become the person you are meant to be- and you’re pretty fantastic!