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Treating If-Only Syndrome

prescriptionWhat do you do when things don’t go your way? You may feel discouraged. The events of life may just sap your strength of spirit. You lose your mojo!

It’s hard to live your life on your own terms when you’re feeling down, but it’s only natural for us humans to have down days.



One cause of this is what we call If – Only Syndrome.

If only I had finished college.
If only I got a different degree.
If only I had taken that job.
If only I hadn’t quit that job.
If I had only done this instead of that, my life would be so different.
If only. If only. If only.

It’s easy to do. We start to beat ourselves up. We may even feel sorry for ourselves and mope a little.

As with many things, the right thing to do isn’t the easy thing to do.

Fighting these urges is hard.
Getting past the past is hard.
Lifting ourselves up is hard.
Fighting our natural urges is hard.

Focus matters

We get trapped on what might have been. What might have been doesn’t matter at all.

What does matter is what is and what can be.

You can be a bigg success. You can live your life on your own terms starting today.


georgeI struggled with this when I was younger. I dropped out of college. I went on to start three businesses. But every time things got a little rough, I would beat myself up for not getting a degree. I thought that if I just had that degree, I wouldn’t have these problems. But I was wrong!


The prescription for If – Only Syndrome comes in two parts. The first part of the cure is a healthy dose of …

So what?


marylynnTo continue with George’s example, say you didn’t get a college degree. So what? How many people have succeeded bigg without a college degree?


We don’t mean to diminish the importance of a good education. It does open up opportunities that may not be open otherwise. But it’s just one factor.

What about your experiences? They are irreplaceable.


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Now along with a healthy dose of “So what”, drink a little …

What can be?

Sticking with the college degree example, why don’t you get one now if it’s that important to you?


georgeThat’s what I did; I went back to school. It’s not a path I would recommend. It was hard! I still had my three businesses, but I did go back and get a degree. It’s interesting … I then went on to get an advanced degree because I didn’t think I would ever go back to school again. Had I gone the traditional path, I doubt I would have ever gotten that advanced degree.


What can be for you?

How can you make it happen? How will you find the time? How will you pay for it?

When you begin to focus on the actions necessary to move to where you want to be, you’ll feel energized. You’ll feel hope instead of discouragement.

What do you do when you feel discouraged?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at

Thanks for checking in on us today. It means so much to us!

Please join us next time as we discuss one of the largest mistakes many people make when it comes to building their brand.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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giving Do you:

  • have trouble accepting a compliment?
  • struggle when others offer you sympathy?
  • feel anxious when you get a gift? resist signs of friendship and love?



“It’s better to give than to receive.” Our parents teach us this from the time we’re young and society reinforces it.

We wondered about the origin of this quote. It turns out that it comes from the Bible.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Do you notice the subtle difference?

The statement has evolved into an absolute. It started out as a relative statement. Receiving is a blessing in and of itself. We’re even more blessed when we give.

But notice that it’s not bad to be the receiver!

Completing the circle
Think about it – there can’t be a giver without a receiver. If we can’t graciously receive, we deny the giver the full joy that should come from giving.

Unselfish people feel empty if they always “get.” Giving completes the circle. So it’s important to be a good receiver as well as a good giver.

Ask yourself “Why?”
At its most extreme, not being able to graciously receive may be a sign of an underlying problem. For example, it may mean that there is a lack of self-esteem. Someone may feel unworthy of the gift or the compliment.


marylynnI think women may have more of a problem with this than men. We often get a compliment and immediately diminish it with a negative statement.


Some people feel that they gain power by giving. If they receive something, they owe the giver. Others may give to impress others. Some people give to try to earn friendship.

If you really have trouble receiving, ask yourself why. It’s important to find the underlying reason so you can live your life more fully as a giver and a receiver.


georgeMy mom was one of the most giving people you could have ever met. She seemed to struggle with receiving. One example – she always tried to buy when we went out for lunch or dinner. If I grabbed the check, she protested and protested. I finally told her that I couldn’t feel any joy in her buying for me if she never let me buy for her. After that, she let me take my turns!


How to be a good receiver

  • Start by giving without condition or expectation. In order for you to experience the full circle, you have to participate on both sides. Start by giving.
  • Recognize that receiving is part of giving. You bring joy to the giver when you willingly accept their gift. 
  • Be grateful, not objectionable. Some people are so busy objecting to the gift that they take away all the pleasure the giver feels. Don’t immediately bring up all the reasons why you don’t deserve the compliment or the gift. Just say thanks!
  • Receive generously. If you learn to receive as generously as you give, the givers in your life will live more fully. Don’t hold back your appreciation!

Receiving graciously is a gift in itself – to you and to the giver. That’s what thanksgetting is all about!


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So today is Thanksgiving and we’re so thankful that you joined us! Check in on us next time as we ask, “Who gets your leftovers?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

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