Fear is defined as "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat."
Or so says the Google when I look up the definition.
One of the strategies for dealing with fear is to create a worst case scenario situation. I'd like to take this moment to differentiate between using a worst case scenario to eliminate fear, and jumping to irrational conclusions when someone is five minutes late.
Text to Sheila: Why aren't you answering?
Are you in a ditch?
How will I know if you're in a ditch?
Me: googling the traffic on the highways
Text from Sheila: My ringer was off.
We call my alter ego Worst Case Scenario Wilma.
But apparently, imagining a worst case scenario is also a useful strategy in managing fear. I remember using this strategy in high school when I was afraid I would fail a Trigonometry test.
As it turns out, the worst thing that happened was that I failed them all, and realized my calling was in writing, as opposed to arithmetic.
I decided to put this theory to the test of some current things that scare me.
I’m terrified of heights. Like, I watch something on t.v. where they show someone on a ledge and my legs feel funny. I suppose the worst case scenario isn’t actually heights, but falling off the ledge. Into a canyon. Thousands of feet down. To my death. Like Wile E. Cayote.
That seems pretty bad.
The worst case scenario if I encountered a snake would be….well….I'm too busy blacking out from panic to know what else might happen.
See above, but magnify it by 17,000. Then multiply that number by a billion.
And add infinity.
4. Looking stupid and falling on my face
Last year, Doug brought an Improv coach in to one of our team meetings. I had been wanting to take an improv class for a long time, but I when the exercises started, I felt like I was 15 all over again. I was terrified of looking stupid, and was self-conscious about everything I was saying and doing.
Improv really requires you to let go of judgement and just react but I couldn’t. Stop. Overthinking. I've also really wanted to take a stand up class, but I have a similar fear.
If I run those two activities through the filter of what's the worst thing that could happen, well, I guess the truth is, the worst thing would be that I never tried, right?
Which brings me to my last point.
5. Not fulfilling my potential
All kidding aside (though I am not kidding about the above), one of my greatest fears is not fulfilling my potential. I have a strong sense that I’ve got more in me to give to this world than what I’ve given to this point. I don’t know if that comes in the form of coaching, teaching, writing, or mentoring, but I feel like I’ve got more to give.
As someone with a strong propensity for overthinking, I’m afraid I’ll spend more time spinning my wheels about what I should be doing that I’ll never get around to actually doing.
Once again, the worst thing I can do is too much thinking and not enough doing.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if I got stuck in an elevator?
You don't ever want to see that.