Many times in our lives we make decisions only to later second-guess them. We often look at the choices we’ve made and wish we had chosen differently. This can leave us with a mountain of regrets. “If only” becomes our mindset. “If only I had chosen another career.” “If only I had chosen a different mate.” “If only I had stuck with that particular diet plan.”
The problem is “if only” doesn’t change what is. We made the choices we did based on the experience and information available at the time. Hindsight will always be 20/20, and there is little to be gained from looking back but depression.
We also tend to idealize the fiction outcome of our “if only” thinking. We imagine that our lives would have been so much better had we made different choices.
While that may be true in some cases, it may not be in others.
Typically we find that every choice has its own set of challenges that come with it. That perfect career, perfect mate or perfect diet plan isn’t perfect at all. They have unique challenges within them as well.
When tempted to fall into “if only” thinking, instead take a moment to really explore the potential outcomes of your alternate choices. If we are honest we will acknowledge the grass on that side of the fence still requires mowing.