Question & Answer

Above: Martina Faulkner; What if ..?  – book cover

As a therapist turned life coach, Martina Faulkner has heard her share of “WHAT IFS?” Often, they’re the past tense kind tinged with remorse and regret. Think, “What if I married my college sweetheart instead?” or “What if I hadn’t eaten that entire sleeve of Oreos?”

Often, Martina’s clients come to her in the midst of life transitions. When contemplating their future, she finds the “WHAT IFS?” often get filtered through a negative lens. So, someone unhappy with their current position might wonder, “What if I take that new job and it’s an epic mistake?”

Martina specializes in trying to upend that kind of negative mentality, encouraging her clients to take their thinking to a more positive place. “The crux of my work is about trying to teach people to live more deliberately and less by default,” says Martina, a Greenwich Academy graduate now based in suburban Chicago. “While some people are limited by circumstances, a lot of life is about choice. A lot of what I do is getting them to see, “Hang on, I really can participate in my own life.”

In her new book, aptly titled What If ..?, Martina shares pragmatic strategies for approaching life decisions with an in-the-driver’s-seat mindset. On her recent book tour, she shared some of her motivating nuggets of wisdom with audiences that ranged from current GA students to staffers at Google. martinafaulkner.com

 
AS THE SEASON OF RESOLUTIONS BEGINS, HERE ARE SOME COMMON “WHAT IF?” QUESTIONS THAT CAN BECOME GOAL-ORIENTED.


INSTEAD OF ASKING

“What if I lost that last stubborn ten pounds?

ASK
“What if I ate healthier?” or, “What if I skipped dessert on weeknights?”

“Asking these kinds of questions makes you the driver. You are owning choices instead of fixating on a number,” says Martina.


INSTEAD OF ASKING

“What if I can’t get out of this dead-end job?”

ASK
“What if I found a job I love?”

“This way of thinking forces you to be more deliberate about your life. It may get you to seek a job that’s more about your passions,” says Martina.


INSTEAD OF ASKING

“Why am I stuck in this emotional rut?”

ASK
“What brings me pleasure?”

“I ask my clients what brought them joy when they were five. It sounds simple, but it can be the root of getting toward something that will bring pleasure into your life. I find it’s often some form of play. For one of my clients, the answer was, “A dog!” says Martina.


INSTEAD OF ASKING

“What if my date doesn’t like me?”

ASK
“What if I liked myself more?”

“A lot of times in relationships, we look for people to fix us. If you don’t like yourself, you often end up inviting the wrong people into your life to fill the void,” says Martina.

 

 

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