Carrie and I like to play a little “what if” game when we are worrying about something or feeling fear or if we realize we’re anticipating that something will go badly. We allow ourselves to do the bad “what-if” – What if we fail? What if our car breaks down? What if they don’t like what we have to say?  But then we like to flip the feeling by also playing the good “what-if” in our heads. What if we’re a smash? What if they invite us back again for a bigger conference? What if we get there early and have time to take a swim in the pool before the meeting. It’s a great exercise and you can really feel the worry shifting as you move from the bad to the good. The same works for parenting too.

On the blog Free Range Kids, which is a great blog about allowing your children to have more of an untethered and more worry-free childhood, (which, by the way, then frees you from the anxiety too allowing everyone a little more breathing room) – they write about the troubles of the bad “what-if” scenarios which play out in the minds of so many parents. Which then causes people to live in a spiral of unwarranted fear.

I challenge all of you, parents and non-parents alike, to try our little “what-if” shifting game for yourselves. When you find yourself worrying too much about safety or wellness or other unknowns, try shifting it with a little good “what-if”. You’ll be amazed at how the worry and fear will just kind of fall away.  Then you can get on with living life the way you really and truly want to live it. Fear-free and to the fullest.