Look Out !!! It is the “What If Syndrome”

You may not know what it is called, but I am sure everyone has experienced it before.  What if…. I don’t like it. What if….. it does not work out.  What if…. he/she does not love me.

The choices for this are endless and if you let it, it will drown you in doubt, pressure and stress from inside and out. You suddenly find yourself rushing away from today and here and now and thinking about:

If it happens, what will happen then? Which becomes..

When this does happen….what would I do first. then what would I do after that.

Before you know it, you have spiraled into a dark and scary place that is short on hope and optimism and where you cannot seem to find the door or window to escape from.What If blog


Well, firstly, this is only a blog so we can all  take a breath………

because it is not happening right now.. But it could, if you let it.


Being just a little bit of an “organisational entrepreneur” I may understand all too well the “what if….?” syndrome. I used to live it on an almost daily basis.  It was a constant battle on every subject from the moment I got up until the moment I went to sleep. It has taken a great deal of effort and changed thinking but I can usually bypass that stop on the train and just keep going.

OK, can we please take out the instant from last week where my CT and BS were done a full week before getting the results and peeking into them to find which rib was cracked now and picking up and looking (yes, I know, like I can read them LOL). I had no idea at all what I saw but it played on my mind for the next 4-5 days until I could get the what if back into its box.   All that stress and worry and not eating and lack of sleep (only just figuring out what sleep is again and I had only recently found it at all !!) for almost nothing.. Not one thing I had been running with in my mind was an issue on my tests.

I had gotten so bad that I had planned out almost the next couple of years with what if treatments and side effects and goodness knows what else.

The point being that you cannot know until you know.  An easy statement to make I know, but it is the total truth.  No amount of worry was going to change those test results before I got to the Docs.   I cannot image what I was expecting, perhaps a magical fairy to sweep in and change the results to totally awesome so there was no longer a what if.  You can see when you are in the right frame of mind just how silly it is, but at the time there is not much that you can do to convince yourself of it.


Positive thinking is the only cure. It may not win the battle today, but if you continue to tell yourself that you can only concentrate on the things that you have the power to change, everything else just needs to be dealt with as it arrives. That any decisions that need to be made will still need to be made with or without stress and just quietly without is so much better for all concerned.

Not all what if’s have sheep stations riding on them, but at the time it feels like it.

Believe in yourself and that you can work through anything that you are presented. If you believe it then it will come true (ok, ok, there may be one or two exceptions but you don’t sit there thinking about needing to wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus – indeed, if you do think about that, please talk to someone, it is not so good..  but clean undies are always nice anyway 🙂

Channel any worry into a positive activity whilst waiting. Go for a run, walk the dog, make the effort and see some friends (I know, you just want to curl up on the couch and eat a whole stack of stuff that you know you should not). If we spent as much time working on things we could all change instead of things that may or may not even happen then just imagine how much stuff would get done !!!!!

Hang in there if you get bitten and succumb to the dreaded “what if” syndrome bug.  Keep fighting it and it will pass (never said it would be too easy, and sometimes it is damn hard work – but well worth the effort).  Be kind to yourself because some days it ok for it not to be ok. Treat it as a visitor who has worn out it’s welcome because tomorrow is  a different matter.

“You can only concentrate on the things that you have the power to change,

everything else just needs to be dealt with as it arrives”


One thought on “Look Out !!! It is the “What If Syndrome”

  1. Had to laugh when I read the bit about wearing clean underwear in case of an accident – my Mum always used to say this! So hard not to venture into the land of what ifs – you are so right about positive thinking! xx Charley7


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