The Cure for ‘If Only…’

How are you doing with your “want list”? Did you devote at least a few minutes to the challenge since yesterday? While you were sifting through your mind, identifying your wants, did you come upon any wisps of self-talk, saying “if only”? Have you ever heard of the “if only” syndrome? Perhaps in all that sifting, you have found a touch of it in yourself.

People with the “if only” syndrome often blame others for their disappointments and failures. They blame their families – “Nobody could succeed with the parents I have.” They blame their friends – “If only my so-called friends would come through for me once in a while.” They blame their circumstances – “It’s obvious that the deck is stacked against me.” Their complaints frequently start with the words “if only,” such as, “If only I had more money. If only I had paid more attention in school. If only I was better looking, a different race, a different age.” You get
the picture.

They stumble through life feeling anxious or depressed, dreaming of unlikely events that will transform them, magically, through little or no effort of their own. And, because they envy others, it’s hard for them to feel any genuine pleasure in anyone else’s successes.

The cure for the “if only” syndrome is to take responsibility for your own life once and for all. Give up blaming everyone and everything else and be honest with yourself. Give up finding fault and learn to set achievable goals. Give up thinking about what you’d do if you won the lottery, and figure out what you can do with the 50, 20 or ten dollars you have now.

By the way, do you know that there is a little bit of “magic” involved when you take responsibility for your failures? When you take responsibility, you also take control of your success.