Feeling stuck? Overwhelmed? Whether it’s in a job you hate, a dead-end relationship, or a never-ending stream of tasks and obligations, you’re definitely not alone. 

In fact, it’s easy to feel stymied by your current circumstances when you’re forced to deal not only with the burden of having to get through your daily doings but also with the dark, heavy cloud of frustration that surrounds them. What makes it even worse is that the more time you spend in this state, the harder it becomes to access your best inner resources to help you escape it.

But even when your nervous system is buzzing in that perpetual fight-or-flight mode, you do have some choice points. While you may not be able to control the external factors, you can control how you perceive and respond to them.

One of my favorite strategies for shifting my attention from the obstacles that are closing in to the solutions that are opening up is to pause and ask, “what if . . .?”  This simple question — when used to imagine better alternatives — has the power to change your whole life. 

For example:

What if you didn’t have to be miserable at work? What if you could show up differently and be taken more seriously and feel more fulfilled? Or what if you could find a new job that was perfectly aligned for you?
What if you could be in a relationship that is mutually supportive? What if you could make that happen in your current one, or leave and finally find one where you can? Or what if there were others ways to satisfy your needs that didn’t put extra demands on your relationship?

What if there was help available? What if you could adjust how you’re doing something to use less energy and free up more time? What if something got postponed or came off your to-do list entirely?

Notice that not one of these examples requires you to figure anything out or commit to new actions, where fear can crop up quickly to stop you in your tracks. They’re merely activating curiosity — the antidote to drudgery.

When you are curious, you’re allowing your brain to look for possibilities rather than spinning your wheels in distress because it looks like there are none. And once you can start to see even the teeniest glimmer of possibility, it creates more space for your natural creative brainstorming and critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities to emerge into the forefront of your conscious mind. Those are the tools you want to be using to plan your next steps.  


What if you could start creating more magic in your life right away? What would be different? How would you feel?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.