Posts Tagged With: Catastrophizing

Day 2782: First guess, best guess

What’s your first guess about why today’s post is titled “First guess, best guess”? Let’s find out if it’s the best guess.

Since the first day I met my best friend/husband Michael, he’s been saying, “First guess, best guess.”

One of my other best friends wrote to me the other day, when I felt insecure about how I had run a board meeting:  “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful.”

Is it your first guess, best guess that both those pieces of advice — “First guess, best guess” and “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful” — mean the same thing?

I love guessing and I don’t stop with my first guess. If I DID stop with my first guess, our ailing and adorable cat Oscar would not be alive today.  Also, Michael’s first guess was that the Social Security office had his correct birthday on file and they did NOT.  My next guess about filing our taxes is that we’ll have to do that by mail, which is not exactly a catastrophe (although my first guess — when the IRS rejected our e-filing this weekend because Michael’s birthday on the form did not match Social Security’s record — was that it WAS a catastrophe).

Catastrophizing is a common cognitive distortion (which we talk about in my Coping and Healing groups) where our first guess is that a catastrophe is imminent, even though it isn’t.

Since catastrophizing is a first guess, not best guess, I’m now guessing that “first guess, best guess” is not always best.

However, my first guess about Michael, when I first met him on okCupid, was that he was a wonderful person I wanted in my life.  I’ve had similar first guess, best guesses about other people, including the other best friend I quoted above.

My best guess about guesses, here and now, is that it’s best to trust our intuition AND also be open to new evidence that comes along.

What’s your first guess, best guess about what’s next in this blog post?

If you guessed photos, your first guess was the best!

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In today’s Daily Bitch Calendar, auto-correct’s first guess was not the best guess.

This is the first song I heard by The Guess Who, which I think is their best:

My first guess was that the title of that song was “She’s Come Undone” but my best guess is that it is “Undun.”

My first guess, best guess is that there will be great comments about today’s post.

First guess, best guess, constant guess is to express gratitude every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2565: What could possibly go wrong?

These days, I don’t ask myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  because I know the answer might be:

  • every little (and big) thing one’s catastrophizing mind might think of and
  • other things, too.

Asking myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  is not my favorite waste of time, because expected and unexpected things go wrong every minute, every hour, every day.

However, there is a way of asking that question that assumes a positive outcome. For example, what could possibly go wrong if I share all my photos from yesterday?

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And what could possibly go wrong if I share another version of “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time”?

Finally, what could possibly go wrong if I ask for comments and express gratitude to all my readers, including YOU?

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2387: What would you like the power to do?

Yesterday, after a day of owning my  power at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy annual conference (Diving In: From the Shallows to the Deep) and on my way to a wonderful party at the home of one of the NSGP members, I saw this sign:

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What would you like the power to do? I would like the power to

  • speak up,
  • grow,
  • be confident,
  • play,
  • influence,
  • encourage people to heal in group therapy,
  • reach people through this blog, and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

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I wish our current national leaders had the power to be nice and I’m wondering about the power of the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.

I would like the power to share my one video from yesterday, but I will have to power up my phone to do that after I share this post via my laptop.

Here, here, here, and here are the original songs I played at the party last night that one powerful  person had the power to call “Brilliant.”

The brilliant person at the party had the power to convince me to try to do a workshop at next year’s conference based on my original songs.

Would you like the power to comment?

I have the power to do gratitude at this daily blog, so thanks to all who gave me the power to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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I have the power to share this video of my singing my conference committee gratitude song at the NSGP business meeting yesterday. I also have the power to sing it today at the end of the conference, when it may be more powerful.

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2333: Trust is …

Trust is  …

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Intelligence and integrity tell me that trust is many different things to many different people.

Trust is something I felt yesterday, when I walked near our home during the day and then performed two of my original songs at an Open Mic in Boston in front of a very noisy, post-Boston Marathon crowd.

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Trust is important  if you perform in front of people.

Trust is part of expressing gratitude, so I trust you will accept my thanks for visiting my blog, here and now.

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Categories: original song, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2277: Probable

Yesterday, I shared with my boyfriend Michael the latest catastrophizing fear in my brain.  Michael listened and then responded:

That sounds probable.

It’s probable that Michael was being sarcastic and it’s probable that I will continue to seek out Michael when I’m catastrophizing because it’s probable he will say something helpful.

It’s probable that I will continue to blog daily because that helps me, too.

It’s probable that I will snap photos and share them with you.

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It’s probable that Michael is going to make something delicious for dinner, like those burritos.

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I don’t know how probable it is that we’ll get a dog some day because of, you know, the cats.

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It’s probable that comedian Pete Holmes is visiting Lexington High School in that scene from his excellent show Crashing (even though I initially thought it was probable that was my son’s high school, instead).

According to my news feed, it’s probable that  many people will be running for U.S. President in 2020.

It seems probable, to me, that unless we human beings drastically change our behaviors, the future might look like the movie WALL-E.

It’s probable that my day at work today will be different from WALL-E’s.

It’s probable that some of my readers will comment and it’s more than probable that I’ll express gratitude to all who helped me create this “probable” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2078: Preparing for the worst-case scenario

Yesterday, as I was preparing for several worst-case scenarios, I noticed this headline in a local newspaper:

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I captured that image, preparing for the worst-case scenario of people getting confused, angry, or annoyed that I was inexplicably snapping a photo of a folded newspaper in a busy restaurant, perhaps momentarily inconveniencing people going about their business.

I wanted to photograph that “Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario” headline — despite the worst-case scenario of bothering other people — because  I believe that I am not alone in preparing for the worst-case scenario, consciously and unconsciously, every day.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario that the previous paragraph was either confusing or otherwise inadequate, I will now redirect you to many blog posts about the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing (here, herehere, here, here, here, here,  here, and here).

Preparing for the worst-case scenario that nobody will look at those previous posts I’ve written, I shall now prepare a list of my current thoughts and feelings about preparing for the worst-case scenario, as follows:

  • People who want to sell you something often do so by seemingly preparing you for the worst-case scenario.
  • Action movies, like the latest Mission Impossible film (which I saw yesterday), are built on worst-case scenarios (e.g., the destruction of the world)  being thwarted, at the last possible second,  by super human actions performed by people who are much stronger and smarter than anybody I know.  My mind then goes to this worst-case scenario: what chance do actual human beings have in averting disaster in real time and real life?
  • Some reader might chastise me with this: why can’t you just enjoy a great action movie without all this thinking about worst-case scenarios?
  • It’s difficult to prepare for the worst-case scenario when so many seem possible in the moment. How do we even  choose what the worst-case scenario is, from moment to moment and day to day?  And then, how do we prepare for it amid all these shifting sands and different opinions out there?
  • Whenever I listen to or watch the news, I notice people preparing for worst-case scenarios that are often diametrically opposed from each other.
  • A nation (and world!)  so polarized and conflicted is — according to Abraham Lincoln —  a worst-case scenario: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
  • I’m preparing for the worst-case scenario that my readers might think I haven’t done my homework in preparing this post by pointing out that “A house divided against itself cannot stand” originally appeared in the New Testament.
  • Preparing for worst-case scenarios in our daily lives (e.g., my health is declining,  my money is running out, I won’t be able to survive this latest loss, I may fail miserably in this venture, people will judge and/or abandon me) may seem to prepare and arm us for difficulties, but it also depletes and sometimes defeats us, even before we’ve tried.

Should I be preparing you for any worst-case scenarios in my other photos from yesterday?

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Last night, as I watched the fabulous fireworks celebrating the opening of the new Hancock Adams Park in historic Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, I was preparing myself for the worst-case scenario that I wouldn’t capture any of the wonderful smiley-face fireworks that were a part of the display. Despite preparing for that worst-case scenario, I loved every moment of those fireworks.

So I guess that’s the best I can do, these days: realize that my mind is going to naturally be preparing for the worst-case scenario but also getting as much as I can from every moment I’m still alive.

I’m now preparing for the worst-case scenario that people will notice all the flaws I see in this performance of my second original song “Catatrophizing” from two months ago …

… and this more recent performance, listed under the title “How not to be a busker, by Ann Koplow” on YouTube (and starting at 4:04):

How are you preparing for the worst-case scenario, these days?

As always, I’m preparing for the worst-case scenario by focusing on gratitude for what I do have. Thanks to all who helped me prepare this worst-case scenario post and — of course! — YOU, from the bottom of my catastrophizing heart.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2014: How do you stop catastrophizing?

When there are so many catastrophes around, how do you stop catastrophizing?

Do you share what you observe?

When the cupboard is bare, do you stock it?

Do you imagine a world without cancer?

Do you keep calm and carry on?

Do you get in touch with your strengths?

Do you change your life?

Do you try to see your way through all the clutter?

Do you let go of judgment and cognitive distortions, focusing on what helps?

Do you try meditation?

Do you turn to music?

Do you share your catastrophizing with other people?

Do you forgive yourself and others for mistakes? Do you gird yourself for the next catastrophe? Or, do you focus on gratitude?

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1988: It’s all in the details

Here’s a detail about how I got today’s title:

Do you agree that it’s all in the details?

I love these details about how to live life:

  1. Show up.
  2. Be gentle (with others and with yourself).
  3. Tell the truth.

I’m telling the truth about the details of the first verse of my second original song, “Catastrophizing.”

Now that I’ve started this song

So many things could go wrong.

What if I make a mistake?

This string or that string could break!

I think I sound out of tune.

You look like you’re leaving soon!

©️Ann Koplow 2018

Here are the details of my other photos from yesterday.

Nothing says fun like this video where it’s all in the details.

It’s all in all the details for comedian Todd Barry, whom my son saw Friday night.

I noticed that some of the details in Todd Barry’s routine are about Chicago. It’s all in the details when you travel and I’m traveling to Chicago with my son in two weekends.

I’m looking forward to all the details in your comments below.

It’s all in the details when you express gratitude, so thanks to everyone who helped me create today’s detailed post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1983: My mind’s a blank

“My mind’s a blank” is a line from the second original song I recently wrote, “Catastrophizing.”

My mind’s a blank when I try to find things to say about these photos I took yesterday:

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My mind’s a blank when I try to describe how Michael transforms a blank plate into a lovely feast.

My mind’s a blank when I hear some people’s ideas about how to keep a school safe.  Guns?  Metal Detectors?  Panic buttons?  Cameras? Cupcakes?

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My mind’s a blank when I

  • eat too much sugar,
  • catastrophize,
  • am really impressed,
  • get very nervous,
  • am in pain,
  • have to deliver a speech,
  • consider current American politics,
  • try to meditate,
  • look at a hostile or disapproving face,
  • need to fill out a form,
  • feel overcome by emotions,
  • wonder what I’m going to blog about in the future,
  • wonder about the future in general,
  • don’t get enough sleep,
  • am about to perform in front of people,
  • can’t find the right words,
  • encounter cruelty or stupidity, and
  • think about people I love who are dying.

When is your mind a blank?

“My Mind’s a Blank” by Wiretaps gets blank reactions on YouTube.

Is your mind a blank here and now?  If so, will you leave a blank comment?

Even when a card is blank inside ….

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… it can still say “Thank You.”

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Thanks to all who help me create these posts even when my mind’s a blank and — of course! — to you, for temporarily blanking out everything else to read this blog.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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