Tossing Aside the “If Only”s

“If only I had more time.”

“If only I had more money.”

“If only I had more skills.”

“If only I was better at promoting.”

“If only I was better with computers.”

“If only I had more help.”

“Everything could be perfect and nothing would go wrong if only x, y, and z were possible.”

People live in a perpetual state of “if only”s. Everyone has lusted after the solutions an “if only” offers. If only I had a man/woman. If only I had more friends. If only I had a more supportive family. If only I had a better job. If only I had more money. If only I had more time. Etc. Etc. You have thought something like this. Everyone has at least once or twice, indulging in wishful thinking. I know I most certainly have. So let’s be open and honest about it.

An “if only” does not help or solve any problems. It can only enable them. “If only”s allow themselves to be excuses for inaction and procrastination. They offer an easy way out, along with a side dish of helplessness. “If only”s often constitute solutions that cannot be remedied.

Example: If only there was more time in the day! THEN I could get my house clean.

There are 24 hours in a day. That is just a fact. Wishing there were more hours does not help or solve any problems. By using an “if only” wish, the house is excused of its messiness simply because it cannot HELP being messy because of the lack of time. The individual responsible for cleaning the house uses the “if only” to make himself or herself feel better about the lack of action taking place. This does not help ANYTHING.

Rather than indulging into the “if only” excuses to justify inaction, we would all be better off by taking a hard look at the problem, and possible solutions that are within our reach.

GOAL > Actions taken to reach goal > Goal achieved

CLEAN HOUSE > Half hour spent after dinner cleaning house each day, one room at a time > House cleaned after one week

“If only”s tend to suck our happiness away and make us feel inadequate. They also tend to make us feel like our goals are impossible. By tossing them aside (and catching yourself every time you find yourself thinking of one), we can begin to take real action. Rephrase your thoughts into a possible GOAL > Actions > Goal Achieved every time you catch this happening. Instead of thinking “If only I made more money, then I could buy a house” think “What can I work on right now that would allow me to put extra money away to save up for a house?”

What is your biggest IF ONLY? How can you restructure it into a solvable problem with an achievable goal in mind?


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24 thoughts on “Tossing Aside the “If Only”s

  1. regretsyregretsy May 2, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

    Yes, we need to eliminate the “if only”s and deal with life! Most problems can be solved without “stewing over it” for very long…

  2. thebeadden May 2, 2012 at 9:17 am Reply

    Good one! I have a million if onlys. It took me almost 40 years to realize living that dream will get you nowhere. I still have if onlys…because it’s good to have dreams. Just don’t let dreams get in the way of living for today and being happy!

  3. Jaclyn May 2, 2012 at 11:01 am Reply

    Wonderful post! A have a major pet peeve with people talking about all the stuff they want to do, they wish they could do … I can’t help but say, “Soooo … work toward it. Stop complaining, and do something about it.”

    • MegansBeadedDesigns May 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm Reply

      “A suggestion should accompany every complaint.”

      Something I strive to live by! :-)

  4. Heather May 2, 2012 at 11:59 am Reply

    Great post, I’m so guilty of this!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns May 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm Reply

      I think we all do with certain things, particularly the tasks we really don’t want to do! lol

  5. Melissa Monks May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm Reply

    Great post! And you are so right, that kind of thinking is debilitating… I do kind of want some minions though:)

  6. anastasiac May 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm Reply

    Great post – this is me right now using any old excuse in my mind why things are not ‘done’ the way I had hoped!!
    ive been feeling overwhelmed lately and its killing my creativity…small steps and I will get through my ‘to do’ list!
    spending loads of time on Pinterest doesnt help haha….

  7. Jane Foxglove May 3, 2012 at 3:50 am Reply

    Great post! I will replace “If Onlys ” with ” I can do Now!”

  8. Sally-Ann May 3, 2012 at 7:37 am Reply

    Good point well made. I’m reading Rhonda Byrne’s “The Magic” at the moment which is reminding me how much more grateful it is possible (and highly recommended!) to be. If you ‘feel thankyou’, as I phrase it to my 3 year old, you find yourself thinking ‘if only’ less and less.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns May 3, 2012 at 8:08 am Reply

      I’ll have to add that to my reading list, thanks for the recommendation!

  9. Annelle May 3, 2012 at 7:42 am Reply

    Very good article!! I’m on it! Thanks for the straightforward awakening and blessings for it…

  10. wishingwellstudio May 3, 2012 at 9:42 am Reply

    This is my favorite lament.
    I like your solutions.
    I will now go into the studio and stop procrastinating.
    Thanks Meg!

  11. Heather McCaw May 3, 2012 at 10:49 am Reply

    Thanks for a great post. I find it helpful to remember that the world as it is exists as the result of infinite chains of causal events, most of which I have no control over. That helps me eliminate worrying about all those factors I can’t change. For the things I CAN do something about, I make a to do list and put at least a few things I’ve already accomplished or will be very easy to do. Then, I enjoy the gratification of crossing them off. Once I’m in “to do” mode, I can more easily tackle the big stuff. Like cleaning the house. Yuck.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns May 3, 2012 at 11:38 am Reply

      That’s a great tactic Heather! it feels so good to cross items off of a list!

  12. designeddecor May 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Wow, so true! “If only,” we took action as soon as we had those thoughts instead of dwelling on the thought instead of taking the action! We all must remember to react once we have those thoughts!

  13. Elly June 2, 2012 at 12:22 am Reply

    This has been a real eye opener. Being a dreamer, I tend to have an addiction to “if onlys” and “what ifs” despite them cramping actually living my life. I think with some dedication and good advice I can move past this stage of stale water in my life. Thank you!

  14. […] often hear the first group say, “If only I didn’t have to work my day job, I would…” [insert completed goal, dream […]

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