Eliminate “If Only” Thinking

Have you ever heard someone say, “If only I had put in more effort,” “If only I had more time,” “If only I could go back … yada, yada, yada”? Or, have you said these kinds of statements to yourself? We’ve all done it from time to time. Having these thoughts occasionally is perfectly normal and expected. The problem is when “if only” thinking becomes a habit.

“If only” is simply wishing that things were different. Wise and capable adults act with strength and the realization of what exists so they can positively influence outcomes. Growing is what life is all about. “If only” is the seed of a negative attitude that makes it less likely to overcome life’s challenges.

Positivity versus “If Only”

A positive attitude moves you toward meeting challenges, while a negative attitude moves in the opposite direction. “If only” thoughts are the beginning of negative attitudes that are perceived as regret and often resentment. Like a weed in a flowerbed, this negative thinking can quickly grow and overtake the garden of your mind.

It is better to approach challenges, changes, and opportunities with a philosophy that fuels positivity. Remember that positivity fuels possibility. And looking for and embracing possibility is what leads to long-term satisfaction and success.

Tip: Abandon the phrase “If only” and realize that what is happening now is reality. In this moment, life is what it is. Embrace the concept that the accomplishment of anything begins now.