Imagining the Worst Case Scenario
I had been saying it to my current students, my friends, my clients, my family… “As soon as my cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy certificate is completed, I’ll have much more time to focus on getting things straight and into a routine again…”
Then, once I had got back in the office, I remembered that we were launching a big new audio programme and it had not been fully written, let alone recorded.
Then I also remembered I was running two marathons in less than 3 months time which I needed to train hard for following injury. And on top of everything else that I needed to do on a daily basis to run my business…
I knew I’d cope, I knew I had the skills to deal with it, I knew I had done much more than this in shorter timeframes… So I was not too stressed about it… In fact, a little bit of stress keeps me firing on all cylinders and working smart.
I was not imagining the world caving in, and I was not imagining the worst things that could possibly go wrong… Though I did do on the Monday when I had the day off after the training course I had been running: I went to the beach with my wife and son, we went to the Bournemouth flying club café and watched the planes taking off and landing, then we went out for dinner and had a lovely time…. When I put him to bed, I spent some time imagining the worst case scenario of what could go wrong with the crazy workload I have right now… Yep, you read it correctly, I imagined the world imploding in on itself when I got to work the next day…
Let me explain why…
Using Self-Hypnosis to Deal With Anxiety-Related Issues
One thing I had been working on at the time while running the course and preparing the new major audio programme is looking at a number of ways of using self-hypnosis to deal with a wide variety of anxiety-related issues.
The strategy that I is within this hypnosis audio track involves you rehearsing your desired outcome in your imagination while hypnotised so that you feel capable of doing the same in the real world. Which sounds pretty regular to those who are accustomed with cognitive behavioural approaches to well-being.
This hypnosis track works with the fact that we spend much of our time running simulations of reality through our minds. Some consider it a benefit, but it can also cause us problems – we often react to our own thinking and imagining about our reality, just as we do to actual perceptions and real-life experience of it.
Possibly more importantly though, as we react to our own thoughts and internal dialogue, we can become more detached from the reality we actually perceive of our life. For example, so many people tend to negatively dwell upon events and circumstances, imagining the worst possible scenario happening or imagining be unable to cope with the event or it turning out to be catastrophic in some way.
It is a bit of a relation of our ‘fight/flight’ response.
Those people tend to feel anxious about and avoid situations that seem likely to turn out badly for them. Scenarios that generate strong negative feelings of this sort tend to stick in our minds, perhaps because these feelings make them seem so real to us.
We get snared by this way of thinking! Each time we imagine life turning out in these negative ways, we generate feelings and real physiological responses associated with danger and catastrophe. Before we know it, we may have convinced ourselves that this negative interpretation of the situation is inevitable. Oh no! We’ll then either avoid the situation altogether, or cause it to go wrong in the way we imagined.
This type of thinking blocks our ability to make the situation turn out in the best way, and achieve a potential desired outcome. Rather than really going for it and engaging with the event to the best of your abilities, you end up self-fulfilling your worst fears.
This is widely referred to as performance anxiety. Performance anxiety describes a situation where you are so fearful about how you will do that your attention and imagination get stuck and results in you becoming tense or anxious, and so you prevent yourself from being able to do what you could have done relatively easily if you had simply relaxed.
Ending Anxiety and Generating Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Sooooooo, this hypnosis audio track capitalises on the relationship between thinking, feeling, imagining, and the resulting performance. It ends the anxiety and generates positive self-fulfilling prophecies.
Within this process, one of things you are instructed to do is to actually imagine the worst possible outcome, letting yourself experience all the bad feelings and negative consequences that go with that unwanted outcome. Sounds crazy, but is incredibly beneficial and therapeutic and will help you let go of anxiety.
By practicing these kind of imagined scenes, you show yourself that there is really nothing to get anxious about. You show yourself that the very worst that could happen is not anywhere near bad as you may have previously feared. You show yourself that you really are capable of making it work out right for you and for you to perform at your best. You don’t even have to imagine the best outcome – you might simply imagine the most likely, the most realistic and get your mind accustomed to reality according to your intelligently reasoned thoughts.
Be free of the anxiety, enjoy this track.