Part 11: Catastrophic Thinking

Catastrophic Thinking

When things go wrong we tend to create this narrative, this chain of consequences.  Each link in this chain becomes more dire than the one that preceded it and by the end of the chain we have imagined a scenario where everything has collapsed all around us and life as we know it has become the epitome of rock-bottom.

Nothing destroys our motivation faster than giving in to the seduction of fear, worry, and doubt.

Awareness can go a long way in helping break the chain of catastrophic thinking.  Being able to realize that our thinking is only taking us further and further into worry and despair is the first and most important step.

The next step is to do something about it.  You can do this a couple of ways, both require you to evaluate the thoughts you’re having.  The first method is to weigh the pros and cons of the event or situation that you’re facing.  Our minds tend to gravitate towards the negative, the worst-case scenario.

We can’t hope to build motivation if all we think about is how things might go wrong or all the negative consequences of a setback.  Shifting the focus to the pros and cons of every situation we face can help us alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that obstacles and setbacks may bring.

The second method is to rank the outcomes you’re imagining from one to ten, ten being the most likely to occur.  Then look at the top three and develop a plan of action for each of those scenarios.  Having a plan can also help alleviate the stress and anxiety that you’re feeling and give you back some sense of confidence and control over the situation.

Either of these methods can offer you the motivation to persevere and remain resilient and steadfast when facing obstacles and setbacks.

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