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Two words that will ruin your life

Yes, ruin! I’m only being a tiny bit hyperbolic here. There are two innocuous-seeming words I avoid when I’m trying to manifest something. They’re “when” and “if.”

They’re not inherently bad words—we use them all the time. But they can also be used to dodge the work of creating the life and circumstances you want. I’ll show you what I mean:

“If I were rich, I’d move to Vancouver.”

“When I finally meet someone, I’ll be able to travel more.”

“If I get that job, I’ll do my Master’s.”

Do you see what those ifs and whens are doing? They’re absolving us from having to work for our goals. Sure, we would do something amazing—if only the universe would hand us what we want first.

I found myself doing the “if” dance recently in my life, and that way of thinking was making me more and more miserable. I was increasingly disempowered and frustrated, waiting for my “real” life to start—when. If. Truly, we could wait our whole lives for those whens and ifs to come true.

What I’ll say next is a bit controversial among those who believe in the laws of attraction, who say you should just let the “hows” happen—but I want to replace my whens and ifs with hows and whats.

In my experience, if you rephrase to ask, “How will I make this happen?” you’re presupposing that your goals can be reached, and it’s very empowering. I don’t mean “How the heck will I ever get this done?”—that’s a when or if in disguise. Another powerful rephrase is, “What will I do next to achieve my goal?”

Let’s try rephrasing those earlier statements:

“How can I save enough to move to Vancouver?”

“What will make me comfortable traveling solo?”

“How can I get funding to do my Master’s?”

Already, these feel like the strong questions of someone with purpose and resolve.

Other questions vital to putting myself back in control:

“Who do I want to become as I do this?”

“What kind of person do I want to be?”

“Why am I working toward these goals?”

“Why is this important to me?”

The questions I ask myself determine my mental space, which creates the outcome of my work. Am I basing everything on some vague universal lottery, or am I taking steps toward my dreams?

It’s not magical thinking. As an entrepreneur, I really have found that we attract and manifest what we’re thinking about, simply because our thoughts direct our focus. Redirecting our focus with empowering questions brings us closer to our goals, step by step.

What questions are you asking yourself these days?

If you need help rephrasing your ifs and whens to hows and whats, a coach can help. Find out how you can work with me by clicking on the link below.