What’s the worst that could happen?
That’s something I ask my patients, to invite them to face their fears and to consider how likely it is that those fears will come true.
What’s the worst that could happen to you, here and now?
Is the worst that could happen to you related to
- harm coming to somebody you love?
- people in power?
- legal issues?
- the weather?
- the media?
- the internet?
- local politics?
- national politics?
- global politics?
- natural disasters?
- man-made disasters?
- taking risks?
- going outside?
- staying inside?
- making mistakes?
- something else?
What’s the worst that could happen, at this point, in this post? Would it be my defining “catastrophizing” AGAIN?
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.
Would the worst that could happen in this post be seemingly random pictures?
I hope that the worst that could happen to my son today will be his mother posting a picture of him on her blog.
The worst that could happen, right now, would be my forgetting to thank all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.