"If he could have done it...." "If I would have seen it.......", " If only they had changed..." these are just a few as I could continued with much more examples of "Ifs" that takes you to a path to nowhere, that is, you can complain all you want but using "If" in wishing something was not what it is creates a vicious cycle that doesn't conduce to any growth or advancements.
I believe we start using "If" in our vocabulary at the moment we believe we have to defend our actions as a way to "save face" thus people could see us in a better light. But this vicious cycle can be very harmful for it can get us stuck and not allow us to move forward. We can automatically get into the blaming cycle where everyone and everything is at fault except us. It becomes such an automatic response that is hard to even see what we are doing to ourselves.
Now using the word "If" to explore is a way to move forward, that is, when we stop to inquire in a way that allows for us to experiement it opens the path of movement. For example, when we use the word "If " in inquiring mode such as:
What would happen if .....? What if we do.....? What if they implement....? this allows for your mind to expand from your limitated view and open to see beyond the immediate horizon.
Be aware of your inner dialogue, are you using the word "If" as to regret or blame? or are you using "If " with an inquisitive mind of exploration and movement?
When you find yourself stuck and you observe yourself wishing for different outcomes you may want to stop and start using the word "It is" vs "If" When you change the word "If" to "It is" you now step out of the cycle that takes you nowhere into a open territory that allows you to experienced, learn and move beyond your own limitations. Here is how it works; "If only he hadn't gone away" to "It is a fact that he went away now what can I do?" or "If they could change" to "They are what they are and it is okay, I will look for another alternative" can you feel the difference? can you see the difference? when we change to "it is" we change into looking beyond the limitations of regret and open to the expansive field of possibilities, movement and accomplishing with joy and happiness.
So be an explorer and just observe your inner dialogue you will see how easy it can be to shift from being stuck to being in the flow and achieving your desire outcomes.