So, then what?

What’s the worst that could possibly happen? You either avoid this question or you tackle it head-on. When you’re feeling anxious about some life change or new undertaking, it can be useful to consciously consider the Worst Case Scenario.

Suppose you fear certain social situations, such as business meetings. Regarding your next business meeting, what is your worst case scenario? Maybe you lose control and start screaming curse words at your boss for no apparent reason. Okay, then what? Then you lose your job. Sure, but then what? Then you update your resume and you downsize your home. Then what? Then you work on deep breathing to help you relax in your upcoming job interviews. You get offered a job, but it’s on the other side of the country. Then what? Then you start looking into the cost of living in this new location, and you do some research on local school districts, see if it’s a good fit for your child. So on and so forth.

The Big Scary Thing never happens. Rather, if it does happen, it happens one small step, one concrete decision point at the time. Things go wrong. No matter how hard you try, you can’t prevent things from going sideways from time to time. But remember: You’ve solved big problems before, and you will solve big problems again. You never have to “survive” anything more than this moment, then this moment, then this moment . . .