We often hear bromides like “90 percent of your worries never happen” and “Worrying doesn’t change anything” and yet we still worry.
I’m not going to tell you to stop worrying, but I am going to give you a technique to use that may just help you get through it.
I call it the “What’s the Worst” technique. Here’s how it works.
When you are worried about something, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
You will come up with an answer, and often it isn’t all that bad.
Then ask yourself, “OK, if THAT happens, then what?”
Think about it ... you will come up with another consequence and, when you do, ask yourself again, “OK, if THAT happens, then what?” And so on until you can’t do it anymore.
You’ll be surprised at how the final result isn’t really so bad. This doesn’t always work because some of our worries really are about serious things with serious consequences, but I’m going to guess that many times this will do the trick.
For example, you are going to a formal dinner and you don’t know what to wear.
What’s the protocol? Do the colors matter? How formal is it? And so on.
What’s the worry? You’re worried that your clothing choice will be inappropriate.
If you did wear something that turned out to be inappropriate or “incorrect,” what’s the worst that can happen? People may judge you for making a mistake.
If that were to happen, then what? You’ll never know unless someone said something about it to you!
If that were to happen, then what? You could laugh it off and tell them that you can see that you made a mistake.
If that were to happen, then what? Hmmm ... So what???
You may be surprised at just how this exercise will change your worry habits!
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