When I tried out for the basketball team as a high school junior, I figured the worst possible outcome was I would not play well or not stand out, get cut and not be on the team again. The actual outcome was worse. (Read my book for the full story).
It wasn’t the first time I’d tried out for a team and failed. Many other teams I had tried out for before that, I was afraid of that worst-possible-outcome that never came to be. Did those fears in the back of my mind affect my performance negatively? Hell yeah, they did. Did I have to stop this self-destructive mental pattern if I was going to go anywhere in basketball? Damn right.
Answer me this. When was the last time you were worried about something bad happening, and the bad thing did happen… And it was WORSE than you feared?
Maybe once or twice in your whole life, if that even. And that one time, for some people, weighs on them for life. That one bad experience gives them an excuse for fearing the worst in everything. And the weight of that worrying slows them down — physically, mentally, emotionally — for life.
You can probably recall, though, many times when your fears were out of proportion to what actually happened. And the more you think about it, you see that you wasted all that time and energy worrying, for nothing. And even if it had happened, what could you have done to prevent it? Probably nothing, which is why you were worrying in the first place.
Come to this realization: if the worst thing does happen, you’re powerless to stopping it anyway. So drop the weight of worrying and let the worst that could happen, happen.
As we already established, it usually doesn’t. You’re wasting time.