I’m anxious and it’s apparent to everyone around me. My family is used to my anxiety. I’ve had it since I was a child. I should allow myself to be present in this moment instead of fearful for things that are days and weeks away. I should be enjoying this special family time. I know this but it doesn’t change my mood or my stress level.
My husband must be reading my body language because suddenly I feel his hand on my knee. He gently squeezes and says, “Breathe, babe. Take some deep breaths and try to be here, with us, instead of a million miles away– fueled by your anxiousness.”
Quietly, I say: “I can’t. I’m so scared. I want this all so bad. What if it doesn’t work out?”
His only response: “What if it does. What if it all works out?”
His words paralyze me with a fresh perspective I haven’t held. His words take my breath away in a manner that feels invigorating. His simple reply to my anxiety left me inspired by positivity and a new outlook for facing fear and the many unknowns.
What if it works out? 5 simple words that paused my worry.
What if it works out? 5 simple words that stopped my apprehension and concern and brought me back to the present– here, in this room, surrounded by family who are already immersed in making memories together.
I don’t want to miss out on the now because of fear and a messy mind. I don’t want to miss out on these opportunities because of debilitating anxiousness. I don’t want to miss out on the laughs and the fun and the traditions because of choices and outcomes in the future that I have no control over.
So instead, I took a breath, and I smiled as tears streamed down my face, and I kissed my husband and thanked him for always grounded me when my mind is soaring in uncharted territory. And I thanked him for loving me so beautifully that it can change the composition of my mind and the trajectory of my day.
And I’ve never forgotten those words, “What if it all works out?” And I hope I never will because they refocus my attention from the concern of the future, to the current moment I’m living in. They give me the power of a positive outlook instead of a doomed one– which is so much more beautiful and hope-filled.
When I find myself riddled with stress and fear and worry and a seemingly powerful anxiousness, I pause, I breathe, and I ask myself, “What if it all works out?” Then, I focus on that outcome instead. And it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
When you find yourself worrying about the “what if’s” or the unknowns of the future, I’d encourage you to stop, to breathe, and to ask yourself, “What if it all works out?”
And hopefully it will. Mine did.
A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.