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F.O.C.U.S. Time: When wondering ‘what if?’ it’s good to be BRAVE

Diana Jaworski
Sentinel columnist
Posted 1/29/23

“What if ...?” “What if I fall?” “What if I sprain my wrist?” “What if it’s too difficult?”

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F.O.C.U.S. Time: When wondering ‘what if?’ it’s good to be BRAVE


“What if ...?” “What if I fall?” “What if I sprain my wrist?” “What if it’s too difficult?” The “what if” questions twirled around in my head making me dizzy.

One day, I saw an advertisement to learn how to ice skate at my local recreational center. Remembering that I have wanted to learn ever since I was a child, I decided that at the young age of 51 I can still learn. I decided to register and finally have the opportunity to fulfill my long-term desire.

As the initial class start date drew closer, my enthusiasm was diminishing. Unfortunately, my brave act of signing up slowly turned to seeds of doubt and the “what ifs” began to swirl. Maybe I should have left the decision to learn a new sport to the younger generation.

I took a moment and decided to review the definition of what it means to be brave. It portrays someone having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty. This is what I needed to have.

I thought back during the times in my life where I showed bravery when facing a challenging situation. There were multiple times I could recall audience members approaching after a presentation at one of my conferences where they would share stories of conquering fears and acting bravely.

It was at this moment I first realized that being brave may take many forms: forgiving those that have caused you harm; a single mom going back to college to finish her degree; quitting a secure job to fulfill a lifelong dream; learning to live alone; beginning a new activity that tests the limits of your comfort zone; learning public speaking; etc.

When “what if” questions prompt more doubt and discouragement than you would like to have, through my experience and those who have shared their stories, it is good to be - BRAVE!

B – Begin to think about the pros and cons of the situation. Making a list is a starting point to help one discover whether one is ready to make this decision. Since our brain may lean toward exaggerated worst-case scenarios, evaluate and review by asking how you may handle them. Are they realistic or not? What is the root of your worry and anxiety? It is always a good idea to weigh in all options and move forward with care.

R – Review past acts of bravery in your life. What situations have been challenging yet you were able to overcome? How did you overcome it? It is empowering knowing that you have handled challenging situations in the past and are still able to do so!

A – Act positively. Many times, the answers to your “what if” questions may tend to be answered negatively. Taking positive steps will help combat this. For example, instead of dwelling on the “what if” I fall question, I began to take steps, weeks ahead, to exercise and do strength training and even purchased a form-fitting leopard print ice skates. If I was going to fall, I would fall fabulously and fashionably! Moving forward, I did what I could to cope with negative situations that may or may not happen. Bonus tip: Exercising was a perfect resource to help combat anxiety.

V – Visualize positive scenarios along with saying out loud positive affirmations. Focusing and visualizing the outcome of happiness after attempting something new, overpowered my fear and anxiety. Yes, there is a possibility I may fall, but I am choosing to move forward in a positive mindset and live in the present moment. I will handle what comes my way when it does. I am brave. I am strong. I am resourceful. I am resilient. I can do this.

E – Enjoy the adventure! I have missed past opportunities for adventure in my life, but I do not want to miss out any more. I look forward to live events that will bring me joy, smiles, beautiful memories, laughter and excitement to my life and those around me. I choose not to let fear win. I choose to live bravely.

The day finally arrived. I looked around at my young skating companions, at our group lesson, full of courage and enthusiasm. I was relieved to see another adult in my class. I was not alone.

Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes and thought of a quote by Erin Hanson, “There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh, but my darling, ‘What if you fly?’”

As my leopard print skates hit the ice, I knew right then and there I was destined to fly - or in my case ... glide.

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at


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