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Nurturing worst-case scenarios in your personal narrative

A scary fantasy land that dominates your thoughts

Anticipation is stressful. When you are waiting for something to happen, and you have no control of when and how it will happen —if at all — the waiting is an exercise in self-restraint.

Not all of us are good at self-restraint.

We have all heard the usual advice that is dished out when this happens:

  • learn how to meditate,

  • go out and do something else —distract yourself

  • focus on the stuff that you can control.

This is all sage advice, but it doesn't really help if self-restraint is an issue in the first place. Not sure what your weak spot is: biting nails, checking emails or cell phones incessantly, online shopping. My spiralling involves inventing a thousand worst-case scenarios of why that thing I am waiting for will never happen. I don't think this derives from negativity, but rather from an over-active imagination.

So what's my antidote? I am not sure there is one, but as an entrepreneur who is also a writer and storyteller, I see these worst case scenarios — whether they happen or not — as idea babies waiting to be born. These fledgling stories are the episodes in my life that give color and texture to the path. And, when shared, will make success much sweeter.

Sometimes anticipation is an opportunity to frame your personal narrative, to encapsulate your fears and fantasies and to revel in the ultimate outcome, that may or may not have been remotely close to what you imagined it would be.

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