What if — ?

School starts next week.  I’m nervous.  The ‘what if — ?’ scenarios keep going through my head.  What if I’m not good at this?  What if the professor doesn’t like me?  What if I can’t pull myself out of this funk and get some work done?  It’s pretty intimidating if I let myself think about it — which is why, I believe, thinkers have such a hard time with depression.  If we take too much time to think, what ifs and its evil cousin yeah but start creeping in and cripple the just do its.  Yeah but is the evil cousin that applies to the past — ‘you did so well in that class’ is countered by ‘yeah but I only had 2 classes’ or ‘yeah but the class was easy’ effectively negating the good thoughts about ourselves. 

The way I started learning to cope with the yeah buts was by looking outside myself after I was told that negating someone’s compliment with a ‘yeah but’ was rude.  I need to smile, accept it graciously and say ‘thanks.’  So even if I’m doing it to myself, I need to smile, accept good thoughts graciously and say ‘thanks.’ 

What ifs are a little more pernicious because they get confused with thinking things through to avoid disaster.  But what ifs are usually low-probability negative things that you can’t really control — at least, you can’t control them by fretting about them beforehand.  You simply do your best and deal with problems when and if they actually come up. 

So let go and just DO GOOD.  Be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do your best.  Things will work out.  Sometimes bad things happen, but just deal with them when they come.  You’ll be fine.

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