Sometimes I come across children’s stories that make me think they were written for the parents. Arthur and the What Ifs is one of those stories.
A little guy named Arthur is filled with music but psychs himself out by thinking about the what ifs. What if he’s not good enough. What if people laugh at him. You get the idea. But the music is still inside him, it doesn’t go away.
One day Arthur gets a flyer for an open jam session and he again starts to think about the what ifs. But this time, for the first time ever they are good what ifs. What if it’s fun? What if he’s actually good?
This shift in mindset doesn’t solve all of his issues (this is a children’s story, not a fairytale) but it gives him enough confidence to fashion himself a disguise and join the jam session. He joins in and gets so consumed by the music that he doesn’t realise he is no longer in disguise and playing music out in the open where everyone can see him. And enjoying it. This leads to his new life of playing in the band, Arthur and the What Ifs.
How we talk to ourselves is so powerful and so hard to get past. Reframing sounds like such a load of jargonny bullshit. But what if it leads to something great? Isn’t it worth the experiment? I tend to think yes, it is.