Note: This is a guest post written by Hiten Vyas. Please show him some love!
When we want to try something new in our lives, we usually start thinking of all the bad things that can happen.
Then we avoid trying what it is we wanted to do, something that could change the way we live our lives forever.
Our minds too-often go to the worst case scenario. And as worst case scenarios, prospects and possibilities become dim and dire. And so we stay planted in the changeless life we’ve always lived.
But we can train our minds to always switch our perspectives at such times, to keep ourselves motivated, and feeling positive and resourceful so we can have new experiences, which will help us grow as individuals.
Before you continue reading beyond this point, though, think for a moment of an activity or task you want to accomplish that you know deep down will be good for you, but you find yourself thinking of all the things that will go wrong instead.
Now make mental note of it, and read on to discover 5 ways of blasting through your inner critic to doing what you’ve always stopped yourself from doing before.
5 Ways to End the Tyranny of Worst Case Scenario Thinking
1. Realize that it might not even happen
Whenever we want to try out something new, we can get anxious about the possibility of failing. “I might mess it up!” or “People will think I’m stupid” you might be thinking.
The truth is whatever you believe, it might not happen. And if it might not happen, then what’s the point of worrying about it? If there’s no point worrying, then what have you got to lose by trying?
2. What real evidence do you have it will happen?
Ok, so you believe it won’t work out.
But what real evidence do you have that it won’t? If this is the first time you are giving your activity a go, then you don’t have anything to compare to anyway. If you don’t have any concrete proof then you’re scaring yourself by thinking it won’t work out. And a thought that you will fail just isn’t good enough! You need real, hard evidence, that you can touch and feel, or it’s just so much unfounded fear and nothing more.
3. Even if it does happen, what is the worst thing that can happen?
Even if you did screw up, what’s the worst that can happen? In fact what’s the best thing that can happen, if the worst was to happen?
For one thing, you would have learnt so much from the experience for having gone through it. Even if you don’t succeed, you can notice how it felt, what you said, how people reacted, what worked and what didn’t. The next time something similar happens, you will be able to do better because you know where you need to improve.
4. How else can you see the situation?
Believe me, by allowing yourself to always think of the worst that can happen, you’re denying yourself the ability to think and imagine happy and wholesome scenarios instead. Nobody is forcing you to think this way. But thinking that way stops you from thinking any other more solution-oriented way.
It’s useful to remember it’s just the way the mind works. It happens to you sometimes. It happens to me sometimes. It happens to all of us sometimes.
So just allow yourself for a moment to think of what can go right, just give it a go. Take a moment now and do this. Imagine your situation turning out just like you want it to. See what you would be seeing. Hear what you would be hearing. Feel what you would be feeling and say the exact words you would be saying to yourself in the best case scenario.
And then act to create that scenario instead.
5. What other things have you missed out on?
Now we as humans have to filter information. We are bombarded with so much of it that if we didn’t, it would drive us crazy. So this is usually a good thing.
However, by thinking about the worst case scenario, you have filtered too much information and narrowed your focus, so that you’re only seeing the worst. Use the questions below to expand your perspective:
- What have you forgotten about yourself in all this? For instance, if you’re scared about public speaking, then how about the time you spoke up during that best man speech you gave at a wedding, or that presentation you gave at work in front of 20 people?
- What other resources do you have access to that can help you deal with this? Perhaps you have a good job, or you’re good at relationship building. You have a host of other characteristics and qualities unique to you. These are all resources. Which of these could you use to help you deal with the problem?
To summarise then, if you want to do something new, but find yourself always thinking of the worst thing that can happen, it’s important to not get depressed about it.
It’s useful to understand worst case scenarios are usually ‘mind-made’ and not ‘man-made’.
You can usually touch, see and hear man-made stuff, and have evidence of doing so.
Mind-made stuff exists in the world of fantasy and illusion. The good thing is that you can use your powers of imagination to serve you, rather than creating mental obstacles to the things you want to do.
Go ahead, give it a try!
Sharing is Caring
- Please share your thoughts in the comments.
- How have you overcome worst case scenario thinking?
- How has always predicting the negative gotten in the way what you want from life?
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Hiten Vyas is a personal development coach from the UK. He is passionate about helping people increase their confidence and reduce their anxiety. You can find out more about him at his website, Hiten Vyas: Empowering You To Be Your Best
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Photo Credit: matthewcoughlin