Happy Spider Brain Episode 7:
I'm Camille Lindquist, and this is Happy Spider Brain, the podcast for business owners who are serious about working less and becoming insanely profitable through the power of unlimited thinking. I'm Camille Lindquist, and this is happy Spider Brain. Episode number seven Worst case scenario. Hey, guys, I've got a controversial topic for you today. Today we're going to discuss worst case scenario and how it works with your mindset. Ah, lot of really smart people in the world teach that dwelling on the negative will have a negative impact on your thoughts. And I'm not saying that isn't true. I am a huge believer that our thoughts control our results 100%. And I think that training our brain for positive thoughts is absolutely the best thing we can do for ourselves of anything. But I'm also a chronic over thinker, and I struggle with a lot of stress and anxiety for me. I can't just simply turn a negative thought into a positive one when I have so many possible scenarios of disaster running through my brain. So I want to tell you why I think embracing the worst case scenario is absolutely vital for me and For those of you who might think like me, or even if you don't think like me, this method may be totally eye opening to you and me positively impact your life. So I want you guys to know that I think that embracing the worst case scenario can improve your performance and your emotional well being. I'm always really amazed, inspired to see people who go past the limits of human endurance, especially with athletic achievement, because I'm not super athletic, so I'm always very impressed. But beyond all that physical conditioning, which I guess from what I've read, evens out pretty quickly at the elite levels, they all have the same physical condition. The true battle that allows those physical limits to fall away happens in the mind. So a guy named Matt Fitzgerald he lives and breathes endurance sports. A book he wrote is called How Bad do You Want it? Mastering the psychology of mind over Muscle and inside this book it explores the scientific cutting edge of optimal human performance at a psychological level. Okay, so he teaches that the perception of effort or how hard the exercise feels in your brain is actually the true barrier to elevator performance, not the physical condition of the body. In other words, expecting to feel terrible in a race actually can help your performance. And on the other side, if you tell yourself it won't be that bad, and it turns out it's really difficult, your performance just completely tanks. The positive spin of it won't be that bad actually creates a false perception that could be really harmful. Fitzgerald puts it this way in an interview with Outside magazine. If you feel worse than expected, your perception of effort will increase and your performance will suffer. By bracing for a hard time, however, you ensure that how you feel during the race is no worse than expected, thereby setting yourself up to get the most out of your body. Here's a quick summary from Oliver Berkman's The Antidote, which is happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking, super interesting book that I hadn't heard of till I research this topic, and now I really need to read it, he said. Behind many of the most popular approaches, toe happiness is the simple, simple philosophy of focusing on things going right. One way to do this the stoics argued, was by turning toward negative emotions and experiences, not shunning them but examining them closely. Instead, ceaseless obstinate optimism about the future only makes for a greater shock. When things go wrong. By fighting to maintain only positive beliefs about the future, the positive thinker ends up being less prepared and more acutely distressed. When things eventually happen that he can't persuade himself to believe are good. You guys, this stuff is so true, at least for me. This is what works for me. I'm not talking about dwelling on your problems or dwelling on the worst case scenario. The key here is to engage in negative visual ization or, as they called it, the premeditation of evils. I thought that was kind of funny. Here's a surprising example of negative visual visualization that will shock you, is at least if you happen to be a parent. Each time you took your child into bed or send them off to school. Imagine that this is the last time you'll see them alive. I know, I know, guys, this sounds like a horrible thing to consider, and it really is. But the result of that thought is actually a sense of tranquility. You remain completely present with your Children during those moments and beyond, and it becomes impossible to take them for granted. And then should the unthinkable happen? You're actually more emotionally equipped to cope with such a horrifying life event because you've purposefully considered it. This is why, when someone loses a child, they also say that they wish they'd taken the smaller stuff more seriously. Been more present. All right, so here's a slightly less disturbing scenario. What's the worst that could happen works really well in all types of situations because it takes anxiety or the what could happen. Feeling totally out of the equation. Most of the time, we realized that the worst case scenario is not that bad, or it's at least something that will survive. Maybe easily or not. Or best of all, odds are it won't happen at all. On the other hand, if you nervously try to sell, you tell yourself that the worst case scenario cannot happen. You fuel the phobia by placing it outside of your ability to cope with that scenario. You tell yourself you won't fail, and then when you do fail, you'll be unable to deal with it. So how do I use this method to my benefit in my business and in my life? So how do I use this method to my benefit? To use it to overcome any generalized anxiety about a big decision or maybe a big goal coming up, I personally go into a worst case scenario mode. It's important to mention that this isn't how I operate 100% of the time, not even remotely, because if you do, you're doing it wrong and you'll be too afraid to accomplish anything. You can go back to my last podcast and listen to what I have to say about fear. If you let fear overwhelm you, you won't do anything. You have to work through fear, but this method you can't operate at worst case scenario all the time. That's really important to understand. Before I tell you how I use it, I kind of used this method to gauge any risks that I'm taking when I do something new. So when I see the worst case scenario, after I get out all my thoughts, I can decide if that's a scenario I'm willing to live with. Often times. I'm actually fine with it. It's not as bad as I thought. Once I'm looking at it logically, exploring my fear can actually lessen my anxiety about a situation. For example, you decided to follow my course my photography course, and do all the work to align your business so that you can charge $3000 for a portrait session. Of course, you're afraid you're investing a lot of money to do something new. Something that depends 100% on your work ethic. Toe have results, and you might fail. This fear and anxiety you have about charging $3000 could stop you from purchasing my course. Or it could stop you from doing the scary work in the course that you've never done and raising your prices to three K because you're afraid of that. Number two. If you do buy the course. So here's my worst case scenario. I'd take my brain through the worst case. I raise my prices to $3000 get zero bookings, right? That's simplified. Um, worst case scenario that most of us would go through in this situation if we've thought it all out. Okay. But is that really so awful? If you raise your prices, whatever your business and you don't get any bookings, what would you do next? You drop them back down or you drop them back down after tweaking what you're doing to get it right. Just see if it was just a nen. Isha ll fail. The solution to this fail is not really a big deal. You guys, you already weren't making much. Isn't it worth the risk to try to make $3000 a session? From there, your brain can go places like, Well, I'll at least have a much stronger business. Or even if I don't make three K. What if I could make half of that procession or to a 1,000,000 other places Your brain can take you that show that it's not really that bad of a scenario. Even in the worst case, there's a way out every time. So you have to decide. Here's another example a little more dramatic. So say I've been offered a free skydiving lesson. Of course I'm overwhelmed by the sudden fear and resistance. Free is always really super enticing to me. I'm just kind of built like that. So I definitely consider it. I could go to the worst case scenario to help me make a decision. Right? In this case, it's obviously I go skydiving. Something goes wrong and I die. Okay, I know that sounds dramatic, but that's the worst case. Guys, I'm not sitting here thinking, Oh, I might break a leg. I might be scared. I don't want a list of reasons. Just the worst case. Hopefully just the one. But sometimes when you write this out, you might have a few worst case scenarios depending on the direction you're thinking. In this instance, though, skydiving, the worst case is death. Then this is important. I get to make a decision no matter how unlikely it is toe happen. I know there's lots of statistics out there about skydiving. I didn't look any up for this example. No matter what. Once I know that worst case scenario, I have the facts and I get to choose if the worst case scenario is something I'm willing to accept. If it's not that I don't do it for me. In this case, it's not worth it. Kudos to all of you who do think skydiving is worth it, But it's not for me and I choose not to, because I'm not okay with the worst case scenario. How often in your life do you feel fear? And how often have you felt that crazy shaking in your boots kind of fear? Maybe you risk telling the truth to someone who didn't want to hear it. Maybe you pitched an idea you really cared about, but others didn't get. Maybe you quit your job to work full time with your dream business. Fear is a really uncomfortable experience, guys. It's a feeling most people choose to ignore or resolve as quickly as possible. Our brains will tell us fear is more than we can bear and that we must alleviate that tension. Our brain wants to keep us safe, so we choose not to see it. We run away from it. Filmmakers use a trick to increase suspense. This is what they do. They don't show you what the character on the screen is afraid of or running from. Alfred Hitchcock was a master at this. I love watching his films. He knew as soon as the viewer saw the man with a gun or whatever, the source of the characters fear In that moment that fear loses its power over the audience. It's way better to keep the scary thing off the screen, because the mystery, the suspense, that's why he's known for his suspense films. The mystery of it keeps us afraid. The mystery of the fear keeps us afraid. You guys, we do exactly this with our own fears when we're afraid of taking a risk. We don't explore why. Psychologist Albert Ellis wrote in his book, A Guide to Rational Living, that the assumed catastrophic quality of them of most potentially unpleasant events is almost invariably highly exaggerated. The worst thing about almost any disaster is usually are exaggerated belief in its horror rather than anything intrinsically terrible about it. So how often in our lifes guys does are exaggerated belief in the awfulness of our fear? Keep us from living the courageous life that we dream up? It likely happens more often than we'd care to admit, but it doesn't have to be that way. We're gonna call this fear hacking. In order to diminish the power that your fear has over you, you need to explore your worst case scenario. We don't usually sit down with our fear and have a conversation. We naturally move away from it or through it as quickly as we can. We run you guys when we're afraid. But what if we could put into words exactly what we're afraid of? Putting language to our fear is a psychological process called D catastrophe izing. Okay, I know it's a big word by asking a series of what if questions to ourselves, we usually find that the worst case scenario feels in our thoughts so much more catastrophic than it would be if it actually came true, exploring what it would be like to be in the worst case scenario and survive it. We're learning to interact with our fear and learning the things that we fear aren't as major as we imagine them to be. For example, I often feel fear when I'm running my online business for photographers and business owners. I still feel it. So what am I afraid of? I'm afraid people won't like me. They won't believe me, and I won't make enough money to make it worth my time to run. So what if this happened? What if that was the worst case scenario. After I got over the shock, you guys, I'd start over. I'd probably chat with my friends or get a business coach and asked for feedback on why my business failed. I'd learned from my mistakes and I'd keep going. Maybe I'd start completely over from scratch and then what? After a little time, I'd be right back where I am, and I'd be a little wiser for it. It would be hard and time consuming and frustrating, of course, to start over. But I have a lot more knowledge now than I did the first time around. So it's not really so bad when I explore my fear. It's not a fun scenario, but it's not as painfully awful or horrifying as it felt before when I was operating in that what if kind of fear. By exploring my fear, my fear is so much more manageable. It's really hard work you guys to dig into your fear toe, look it in the eye and actually flesh out what it is about at its core. But when you avoid doing this, that fear is going to remain hyper exaggerated. But by exploring it by de catastrophe izing it and putting words to it, you take back some of its power and reclaim your own. So if you'd like to increase your performance at any task and feel better in general, give the worst case scenario approach to try. What's the worst that could happen?