The Worst Case Scenario

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A powerful tool for stress reduction

One day, I told my husband I was overwhelmed by a particular issue. I told him detail by detail about the heavy weight of my situation and the emotional fatigue that it caused me. I fully expected him to give me great advice on better approaches for the project. I thought he'd tell me to pray, reorganize, and restructure my plan. Needless to say, that didn't happen. What did happen totally changed my method for assessing stressful situations. He asked me one simple question: "What’s the worst case scenario?" 

I'd never considered the worst because, like most busy women, my focus was solely on getting the task complete in excellence. I was on auto-pilot. A situation came up, I put on my take-care-of-it hat and my I-can-do-all-things dress, and I went to work. What an emotionally exhausting way to live, with the burden of thinking everything is supposed to turn out perfectly. The truth is some things are not going to go exactly as planned, and I had to decide to be okay with that. I am totally at peace with knowing that there are few “worst case scenarios” ahead of me. However, knowing this empowers me to deal with things effectively and, I can prayerfully turn it around for my good.

I greatly reduced my stress level and emotional fatigue when I learned to consider the worst case scenario. Here are a few reasons why you can too:

1. Determine if the situation is worth your time. If the end result creates minimal impact on your life, determine if it's really worth your energy. 

2. Establish priorities. Situations that have a serious worst case scenario are usually things that need your dedicated focus. In these cases, you can push other projects to the back burner (without guilt) so you can focus on avoiding the worst case. 

3. Allocate the right resources. You need the right resources to handle your business effectively. Reserve your best resources for your high-priority projects. 

4. Reduce the undue sense of urgency. Urgency and priority is not the same thing. Urgency deals with time sensitivity. You’ll soon discover that some things simply aren't that urgent. 

5. Rest better. Your mind will stop racing during your attempted times of rest when you know what's coming up the road. Establishing the worst case scenarios gives you an advantage while providing time for you to make proactive adjustments. 

Identifying the worst is not bowing to defeat. On the contrary, it is a powerful stress reduction tool and an excellent way to determine what’s important. Stop worrying, minimize your stress level, and focus your energy by taking stock and asking yourself about the worst case scenario.

Really, what's the worst that can happen?