Tuesday, May 13, 2014
How Often Are You Creating Tragedies Before They Actually Strike?
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I started thinking about how my husband and I are going to have to put our new baby chickens in their outdoor coop in a couple weeks. The next thing I knew, my mind was spinning up imagery of them being injured or dying and my husband and I crying.
Great way to fall asleep, right?
Do you let yourself go down dark mental paths when something new or exciting is about to happen?
Brené Brown calls this dress rehearsing tragedy. Joy and excitement are such vulnerable feelings for us that our pesky little brains aim to arm themselves—and make us less vulnerable—by playing out worst-case scenarios.
The problem with this is that it robs us of all the joy in the present. And it doesn't actually prepare us better or protect us if something bad does happen in the future.
I was talking with a client recently who is in the process of trying to buy her family's dream home. On one hand, she's so thrilled by the prospect of having more space and a brand new kitchen—but the other hand is flailing wildly, dress rehearsing tragedy, telling her that her family will go bankrupt and end up on the street.
Highly unlikely, but our defense mechanisms love to paint the bleakest of bleak pictures.
So how to cope when you find yourself creating a tragedy that may never even occur?
Focus on gratitude.
Instead of going down the path of "What if?" stay on the path of "What is."
Consciously choose your thoughts and fill them with what you have right now in this moment. Or if you want to get manifesty, let yourself daydream about the best-case scenarios.
Not only does this feel better, it'll keep the vibe you're putting into the world more positive—which can help attract more good stuff into your life.