- If only I could lose those last five pounds…
- If only I had a different job…
- If only we could afford a bigger house…
- If only I had flatter abs…
- If only I ran faster…
Have you ever been guilty of the if only syndrome?
If you reach that goal, lose those last five pounds, have perfect abs or buy a new house…. what then?
How will your life change?
Will you be happy?
Will you finally be content?
Sometimes we can tease ourselves with a dangling carrot hanging out in front of our nose that we will never quite reach. It seems harmless enough, but in reality, it’s preventing us from living in the now. And in some cases, we are self-sabotaging our efforts and preventing ourselves from reaching that carrot.
The “If Only” syndrome is not unusual. I often work through this questions with my health coach clients (and I’ve seen it in myself!) We can’t make progress the way we want to without addressing it.
I don’t want to live my life with a carrot forever dangling in front of me. I want to learn (and re-learn) how to claim joy now. How to love my life today. How to love my body today. Because at the root of the “if only” syndrome is a dissatisfaction that won’t go away, even if that “if only” criteria is met.
If you find you have an If Only in your life right now, start by acknowledging it.
And then ask yourself (or better yet, journal)… why do you think life will be better when that goal is reached? What is going to change when that goal is met?
How would it make you happy? Do you want to live your life always looking to the next thing? How much responsibility are you taking for the areas in your life that you want to be different?
You can take back control of your thoughts by stopping the negative ones and choosing to reframe them. Write out and listen to the positive messages…. that you ARE beautiful now. You DO have enough. You have everything you need.
(By the way, this can be a long process but it is possible to overcome and so worth it.)
For related reading, check out this great post on body image.
Have you ever wrestled with the “if only” syndrome? How do you pull yourself back into the present and find contentment?