The worst worst case

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.