The Power of a Worst-Case Scenario

June 18, 2020

 

Fear starts a domino effect. The worry that comes from fear can run as rampant as your imagination allows. Fear conjures images and scenarios in our minds that are generally worst case. In most instances, these scenarios will never happen, but the fear that they will can be overwhelming. The best way to defeat these worst-case scenarios is to embrace them and take them on. 

 

We gain power from tackling a tough situation. Most of them are products of our imagination and are far worse than what might actually happen. Forcing yourself to stop fretting about the worst is pretty simple. One way is to just ask yourself-  what if?  And then, answer it with as many positive responses as possible.

 

Fear is based on unsolved problems

 

Fear is generated by the thought of a problem. If a problem has an automatic solution, it isn’t that scary. For example, if your toilet begins to overflow and you know to turn off the main valve, you aren’t overly fearful that you’ll have water damage; however, not knowing what to do can cause stress and anxiety as you watch water…and more…cascade across your flooring. 

 

When the problems caused by fear are addressed, solutions tend to follow. Asking yourself what if? Can help create solutions to the myriad of problems your fears are causing. 

 

Work backwards from your worst-case scenario

 

It helps to jump to the end of the line with your fear. Generally, your worst case is so far-fetched that it will seem ridiculous under scrutiny. What if it really did happen? Though it might be tough, force yourself to face that thought and ask yourself what you would do if the worst happened. From there, ask yourself what you would do over and over again as you work through the scenario. An example might be- 

Worst-case scenario: Job Loss- 

 

What if you lost your job?
I’d file for unemployment

 

What would you do then? 
I’d cut back on expenses

 

What would you do then? 
I’d network for new opportunities

 

What would you do then? 
I’d take the time to update my skills

 

What would you do then?
I’d consider finding new ways to make money

 

See how breaking your worst-case scenario down actually helps solve problems before they even happen? The awareness that there are steps you can take, even in the worst of cases, can help reduced fear and make it easier to face uncertainty and difficult situations. Remember, the only thing that's the end of the world, is, well ... the end of the world. Solving problems before they happen can help you feel more in control and better able to face things. Again, doing this with a friend who isn't into catastrophizing can even turn this exercise into fun. 

 

Play with using the worst-case scenario tool to help overcome your fears and prepare for anything that your fear and imagination can create. 


 

 

Sparkles and Love,

 

 

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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with life support. 

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