Ditch Your What-Ifs by Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D

Do not lose power over the what-ifs of
your life. They are unlimited and endless.
Keep your power in the now, in present time.—Gary Zukav

One of the most common ways we overestimate threats is waiting for the ax to fall. What ifs are those cruel ghosts that haunt us day and night. “What if my writing class doesn’t like my piece What if my novel doesn’t sell? What if I can’t think of a plot for my next story? What if my publisher turns me down?”

What ifs are endless exaggerated thoughts streaming through our minds that we latch onto as fact—worries that interrupt our enjoyment of writing. Truth be told, most things we worry about never happen or at least not in the way we imagine.

What ifs are out-of-the-moment episodes that disconnect us from our present selves. Before jumping to conclusions with such thoughts, we can keep our power in the present moment. Imagine you’re a private detective in a murder mystery and ask, “Where’s the evidence for my prediction?” When we wait to connect the dots after instead of before the hard evidence is in, we discover that what is usually contradicts what ifs. And we save ourselves a lot of hand ringing and wasted time that we could put into writing that heart-pounding scene.

Today’s Takeaway

Next time you catch yourself mired in writing worries, turn your foresight
into 20/20 and use your hindsight as a reminder that what ifs are
unreliable sources of information.

From Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan Robinson. © 2018 by Bryan Robinson. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., www.Llewellyn.com.

Bryan E. Robinson is a licensed psychotherapist and author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books. He applies his experiences to crafting insightful nonfiction self-help books and psychological thrillers. His multi-award winning southern noir murder mystery, Limestone Gumption, won the New Apple Book Medal for best psychological suspense, the Silver IPPY Award for outstanding mystery of the year, the Bronze Foreword Review INDIEFAB Book Award for best mystery, and the 2015 USA Regional Excellence Book Award for best fiction in the Southeast.

His most recent release is Daily Writing Resilience: 365 Meditations and Inspirations for Writers (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He has written for Psychology TodayFirst for Women, and Natural Health, and his blogs and columns for writers appear in Southern Writer’s Magazine. He is a consulting editor for The Big Thrill, the online magazine for International Thriller Writers. His long-selling book, Chained to the Desk, is now in its 3rd Edition (New York University Press, 1998, 2007, 2014). His books have been translated into thirteen languages, and he has appeared on every major television network: 20/20Good Morning America, ABC’s World News TonightNBC Nightly News, NBC Universal, The CBS Early Show, CNBC’s The Big Idea. He hosted the PBS documentary, Overdoing It: How to Slow Down and Take Care of Yourself.