Overcoming the “If Only” Mindset!
“In the morning, you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.” Deuteronomy 28:67
If only I hadn’t failed that test, if only I had gotten the job, if only I had been born into a wealthy family… The list of “if only” statements that we tell ourselves could go on forever- You know that of yours “if only.” These statements create a fixed mindset- believing that factors outside our control determine our success. But what if we stopped? What if we stopped dwelling on the past, and what could have been? Because this mindset limits our ability to achieve our goals and reach our full potential.
It’s the middle of the night, and you can’t sleep. So, you start to think about all the things you wish you had done differently today and how your life would be better if only you had made different choices. This train of thought leads to more and more “if only” statements until you feel like you’re going out of your mind. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Many people spend their lives living in a world of “if only” statements. However, it’s time for a change. It’s time to overcome the “if only” mindset.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid.”
It’s human nature to have regrets. We all have things we wish we could go back and change. But dwelling on these “if only” thoughts do not improve our lives. In fact, it can make us feel worse. If only. It’s a dangerous phrase. It’s a phrase that can lead us down a dark path of what-could-have-been and if-only. Therefore, don’t let your heart falters; don’t allow the fear of the past to make you tremble. And don’t allow the twilight of your heart desires to turn to horror (Isaiah 21:4).
The dangers of an “if only” mindset are that it can keep us from living in the present and enjoying what we have. It can make us dwell on our mistakes and regrets instead of learning from them and moving on. It can make us feel like we’re not good enough, that we’ll never be good enough because we didn’t do or achieve something in the past. If you find yourself stuck in the “if only” mindset, there are things you can do to change your thinking and start living in the present, but it requires your awareness, effort, perseverance, and trust in Jesus. Amen. Isaiah 43:18 says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” Amen.
Psalm 51:10, Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.