Day 8 – Refuting Critical Thoughts by Imaging the Worst-Case Scenario
Your inner critic can be more than a pain. As we’ve discovered along our journey so far, this internal dialogue can stop you in your tracks. It often holds you back from the things you most desire. It preys upon your most terrible fears in hopes that you’ll be too insecure to move forward. But what if you forge ahead anyway? What’s the worst that could happen? That worst-case scenario is what we’re going to examine today with the hopes that you’ll discover it’s really not as bad as you think. In fact, the worst-case scenario can be your best friend against your inner critic.
About the Worst-Case Scenario
The worst-case scenario is usually an exaggerated belief about the outcome of a situation. This scenario is where the mind goes when there is ambiguity or uncertainty. Fear of the unknown is powerful, and the worst-case scenario plays upon that fear in sneaky ways. The worst-case scenario turns every potential outcome into a catastrophe when there isn’t necessarily anything awful lurking about at all. Often, things turn out just fine or not as bad as you thought.
How It Can Help You
Looking back on past experiences you’ve had with the worst-case scenario is a good exercise. It lets you know that usually the absolute most awful thing you imagined never occurred at all. You can use that knowledge in the present to use the worst-case scenario to your advantage. The worst-case scenario is usually playing in the background of your thoughts, but have you ever taken the time to confront it? Asking yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and then exploring that question can give you some insight and perspective to help you most past fear or anxiety. It helps to stop the tape that’s playing in your brain over and over.
Overcoming the Worst-Case Scenario
Confronting the worst-case scenario is the first step to overcoming it. Asking this question puts you in the moment and into problem-solving mode. You begin to look at the situation analytically, rather than through the lens of fear. This gives you control that was lacking when you just let your thoughts run wild, giving in to the worst-case scenario of your imagination. Instead, you can now take time to consider things like what the odds may be of the very worst thing happening or what it would actually be like for you if that thing did happen. Once you have a handle on things, you can move forward.
As you can see, the worst-case scenario doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You can turn things around and use it as a tool to push you forward and defeat your inner critic.