Considering the worst and best-case scenarios can dramatically alter your perspective and give you much-needed clarity about your fears.
When you feel afraid, think about the worst-case scenario. If everything went wrong, what is the worst that could happen? Now, what are the odds of that actually happening? Probably pretty low. The worst case very rarely happens.
For example, say you’re afraid of public speaking. The worst that could happen is you freeze up on stage, can’t say anything, and are completely embarrassed. But will that happen? Almost certainly not. And even if it did, would it actually be that bad? Sure, you’d be embarrassed, but that’s about it.
When you engage in worst-case thinking, you’ll often discover that the worst isn’t nearly as bad as you think it is. This enables you to move forward and overcome your fears.
After thinking through the worst-case, think through the best-case. If everything goes right, what awesome things will you experience?
Instead of freezing on stage, you totally knock it out of the park. You get a standing ovation, receive tons of compliments, and get invited to speak at other places. Your confidence goes through the roof.
When you envision the good things that will come your way, it motivates you to take action in the face of your fears. You are able to see what you will miss if you let your worries control you.
Will everything go perfectly? Probably not. But the reality is that things don’t have to go perfectly for you to reap the benefits of taking action.
Now, to be clear, there may be times when the worst-case scenario is very bad, like with a cancer diagnosis. In these scenarios, it can be especially helpful to think about the best case. If things go well, you’ll still have many years of life to enjoy with your family. Focusing on this can give you the strength you need to keep going forward.
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Until next time, stay safe and keep the faith.