What if I don’t?

April 17, 2010

When faced with the temptation to habitually do something I feel is unwise, I find simply asking the question, “what if I don’t”? to be the most amazing simple solution to the dilemma.

When I first started sobering up, I asked this question of my desire to drink.  Not once did the answer to “what if I don’t” return a negative or painful response.

Fast forward a few years, if I find myself slipping into negative thinking patterns like dread, resentment, or regret, I simply ask myself the question, “what if I don’t (dread, resent, regret)”?  Same result.  Not once has the answer to this question resulted in pain or negativity in any way.

In fact, it is now a game I play with my thinking.  I turn it around and say, “I wonder what is on the other side of this dread, resentment, regret”?  Then I push through to discover the answer.

It is like a gateway to a whole new world that I never suspected existed.  And my thinking is beginning to change.  I dread, regret, and resent far less than I used to.  And I seldom get swept away in the current of these thought patterns anymore.

This to me is “keeping it simple”, and “progress, not perfection” applied.





  1. Can I add you to my blogroll?

    • sure, no problem.

  2. Hi! Nice site. I couldn’t find a “contact” button so I thought I’d leave a comment. I just started an anonymous blog http://stark-raving-sober.blogspot.com/ and added you to my blogroll – I hope that’s alright. Please stop by! : )

    • All good. Thanks. Will check it out.

      • Thanks! Sorry for double-posting . . .

  3. Great post and reminder that we can control our attitude and response to any situation however difficult.

  4. Thanks SS. Glad you stopped by.

  5. Hi! I’m taking a poll and would be interested in your feedback: Is internet addiction real?


    Would you be interested in featuring the poll on your site so I can get feedback from your readers?


    • no problem, post away.

      • Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Thanks for this. I do more or less the same thing anytime I start feeling down or anxious. I try to ask myself when the feeling started it and what triggered it. Just that process usually goes a long way to getting me through it.

    • The amazing thing Greg is when we reach the point where we have enough awareness to question our habits of thought.

      Prior to any lights coming on, these habitual patterns were so ingrained and familiar, they completely escaped notice even though they were harming us.

      We often blamed other people or other cirucmstances for the very pain our habits of things like dreading, resenting, and regretting caused us.

      We even resisted the process and pain of becoming aware. Most of us had to be beaten to such a place of defeat that we finally got desperate enough to ask the tough questions like, “Could it be the way I think that is causing or at least adding to my pain”?

      Glad to hear some lights came on for you as well.



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