Worst case scenario syndrome
I am sure that I am not the only one who has a habit of jumping to the worst case scenario when something is out of balance. In most situations, I am better at trusting and listening to my intuition first, but just like others sometimes the worst case scenario gets to my brain faster. It happened a few weeks ago with my beloved lab, Sue when a little bump showed up on her lip.
When I first noticed it, I of course asked her what it felt like and if it bothered her. No problem, said Sue. To be honest it looked like she had been stung. This would be normal for Sue as it is her personal mission to snap at every bee she sees. She does this despite coaching, lessons on the environment, and the dangers of repeated bee and wasp stings.
A few days later, I checked it and it had a little scab that made it look more like a little lesion rather than a bump. Worst case scenario syndrome got the better of me…
I will spare you the gory details, but the short of it is I got lost in preparing for the worst possible outcome. I even forgot to ask Sue how the little bump felt. Had I asked her, she would have told me it was itchy and that she had been scratching at it.
As it turns out, Sue is fine and has not even minded the special little blow up pillow/cone she has had to wear for a few weeks. But to the point of this blog post, how can we stop worst case scenario syndrome in its tracks?
Recognizing when our imagination has taken a wrong turn is a great first step. As in the case with me and my dog Sue, we can stop the worst case scenario by coming back to our center.
Worry is the waste of a good imagination! To be honest, I used to be a chronic worst case scenario’er. Before I really trusted my intuition I was kind of a mess in the imagination department; I could imagine all sorts of worst case scenarios! What a waste of energy that was! What has made the difference for me has been learning to read the energy around situations in a conscious way.
This world can be a scary place. It is even more scary if you are one of the millions of energetically sensitive people in the world. We who are sensitive are actually wired to be able to feel difficult situations as part of our survival mechanism. But if we don’t have the tools to be able to discern and understand the differences in those energies we feel…. Wha-la our brains take over and create… you guessed it worse case scenarios.
One way to overcome worst case scenario syndrome is to learn from our past and recognize when are headed down that wrong way path. When we recognize it we can heal and transform it.
There is such a great visual example of how to transform our thoughts in the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know". In the movie they show how how our thoughts travel along the same pathways repeatedly, thus making it easy to create similar thoughts over and over. This pattern actually releases endorphins when we create thoughts that are similar in nature. This is one reason it so hard to break old habits; hard but not impossible. For every worst case scenario you cook up, create two or three that hold the outcome that IS what you want to happen. We can create new thought pathways for ourself as easy as thinking it so. We are, at our core, "master manifesters". Knowing that our thoughts are at the core of what we attract to us, worst case scenarios are like our own personal control center of self-sabotage. I promise to write more on this topic in blog posts to come… meanwhile, here are a few ways to clear and stop creating the brain clutter that worst case scenarios create.
1. Be kind to yourself! There is no need to beat yourself up if you find yourself spinning! Self-kindness will go a lot farther to create positive change than self-loathing.
2. Stay in your body, in the present moment. Worst case scenarios keep us from the present moment. For example, if I know a car is about to hit me I would rather be in my body ready to move out of the way of the car rather than planing on how to handle the hospital bills after I get hit.
3. If you catch yourself spiraling into a worst case scenario pattern, try just bringing yourself back to center, follow your breath, find your feet and give yourself permission to hit the re-set button.
4. Practice makes perfect. If there is a time of day or a situation that you find yourself dreaming up and concocting situation after situation of what if’s and uh-oh’s, use your time wisely. Switch sides and dream up what you do want to happen.
Would you like more tools? I recommend starting with a great book called "How to Heal Toxic Thoughts" by Sandra Ingerman, published by Sterling.
Joanna assists healers of all walks of life navigate the rocky currents of personal and professional growth, so they can get on with their life’s work of helping others and healing the world.
She offers playful and empowering private sessions and workshops to healers all over the country.