There’s definitely a positive aspect to facing worst case scenarios.

For instance, before taking a risk either personal or professional, it’s smart to know what worst possible outcome  might occur as a way of measuring what the risk is worth.  Thoughtful business people do this all the time as one factor in their assessment process.

But when we find ourselves living in those worse case scenarios as if they’ve already happened, we’re in trouble. I’ve heard it called ‘awful-izing’ which perfectly describes the practice of living in anticipation of the worst as a perceived way of provding self-protection. Or, as a hedge against disappointment and rejection. 

As a life habit, this is a dangerous self-fulfilling mechanism. Most of us now realize that our thoughts influence – if not outright determine – our reality. Which means each time we assume the worst and live as if it might take place, we all but ensure a bad outcome. 

This process of ‘awful-izing’ amounts to either a very bad habit, a misguided protective device or inability to be convinced of the power of our beliefs and attitudes to create unintended consequences.  In short, imagining the worst case scenario is almost ensuring its passage. 

As Mark Twain put it, “I’ve have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”  Silly, destructive, unnecessary or cruel – call it what you will – it’s one habit that’s really important to GIVE UP!

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