Two days ago, I speculated here, with some anxiety, about how work was going to be for me today. I assumed that I would see lots of unfamiliar people — from the press and from law enforcement — at the hospital where I work.
I assumed that this experience would be disruptive and difficult.
I was wrong. My workplace looked and seemed very much as usual.
So, dear readers, guess what? Your faithful blogger has now been caught in a very common cognitive distortion — the distortion of fortune telling. To wit:
We believe we know what the future holds, as if we have psychic powers. We make negative predictions, feeling convinced these are unavoidable facts. Examples of fortune telling: “I am going to fail,” “This situation will never change.”
When I predicted that returning to work might feel like “Trauma Central” in Saturday’s post, I was engaging in another common cognitive distortion — catastrophizing:
This is a particularly extreme and painful form of fortune telling, where we project a situation into a disaster or the worst-case scenario. You might think catastrophizing helps you prepare and protect yourself, but it usually causes needless anxiety and worry.
I’m so glad I was wrong.
Will I learn from this? Will I stop fortune telling? Will I stop imagining the worst case scenario?
Yes and no.
I will learn from this, for sure. However, based on my past experience, I assume that I will attempt to predict the future again, as a way to prepare myself.
Although, who knows?
I will keep you posted.
Thanks for reading, as always.