Updated: Aug 26, 2019
What is the “What If” mentality? Regrets and imagining a spectacular job, a better boss, cooler colleagues, happier choices that could have led us elsewhere in our career: Does this sound familiar to you? We spent too much time thinking about what might have happened in the past, but it did not.
Stop the “What If” scenarios because:
They consume your energy. There are so many factors that consume our daily energy, so try not to include the “What If” scenarios among them. Instead of dealing with current activities and tasks, you will find yourself in "what if" stories that relate to your previous jobs, decisions you made wrong, deadlines you could have met, and so on. Try to use your energy for planning tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
They consume your health. Chasing butterflies will not make the world a better place to live or work. Regretting is often a trigger for stress and anxiety, which in the worst case can lead to depression. You will end up as a sad person, a bad colleague and an inefficient employee. I think we all want to avoid such situations.
They bring negative thoughts into your mind. “What if” I had chosen project “A” and not project “B”? But I didn't do it, did I? “What if” my boss had been “X” and not “Y”, or maybe “Z”? If we ask ourselves such questions, we will rather only see the negative effects of the decision made or the people who have influenced our daily work and career. Try to think positively and the sun will always shine. If you don't like the current status, it's time for a change.
It’s a waste of time. You can’t travel in time and change your decision. You should live with the path you have chosen and adjust aspects you consider important. Instead of regretting the past, stick to your tasks and make plans for today and for the future. Your workplace is just a pit stop of your life and living means much more than working, it is a summary of all our activities, projections and mentalities.
I know that we are all tempted to please the people around us in order to make the best possible decisions, but we cannot achieve this in every case. So, think for the future and leave the past in the past. Use "What If" scenarios only to forge your future plans and not related to past events.