Growing up, I struggled with (and still fight) anxiety. I think everyone does, to some extent, fight worries, negative thoughts and energy. It is an inevitable component of life – but one that I try greatly to minimize such that I can live fully in the present.
One exercise I did, growing up and take with me to this day, is thinking through the absolute “worst case scenario.” In fact, I often tried to think about the worst worst worst case in dissecting and analyzing my fears.
I do not think it is healthy to always take the worst case, though. In fact, in life, I find it important to be an optimist in the sense that I am always hoping for and working towards the best.
But in thinking about this worst worst case, on select occasions, I come to the following conclusion -> this is best illustrated via example.
Here is one potential, not so unique waterfall:
I fail an exam.
I fail the following exam.
I cannot pass the class.
I cannot graduate.
I cannot get a high-paying job.
I cannot afford a place to live.
I become an Uber driver.
I live at home.
I am with my family and I make a decent wage driving for Uber.
Is that life that bad?
Am I still alive? Do I still have the opportunity to be healthy?
This is just one simple example. I recognize I am super lucky and fortunate in many ways – being born now, in the year 2018 with this much democratic opportunity. Being born in the USA, etc.
But that is the worst case.
I challenge you to try out this exercise across a few different scenarios. You fail. You get lost, etc. I find I often become an Uber driver in many of these scenarios – is that life that bad?
This exercise also helps me remember what is really important in life and to value taking hold of opportunities I care about.
I want to take risks..especially when the adjusted failure is not that bad.