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My breakdancing manager

If you’re like me, you can envision hundreds of horrifying outcomes to any situation. This includes mundane things like tying shoelaces, eating a sandwich, or blinking. There are potential disasters in everything! The possibility one of them might occur fills you with dread.

I have a trick for subduing my dread. It might work for you.

I used it today.

I had to meet my manager to discuss a schedule change I’d proposed. The amount I wanted the schedule change was very, very high, which meant my dread engine was running even harder than usual.

Until …

Instead of asking “What’s the worst that could happen?” I remembered to ask, “Of all the things that could happen, which are actually likely?”


In many situations, thinking in probabilities is much kinder–to yourself–than thinking in possibilities.

But, hey, it’s good to imagine the possibilities, too! I’ve smiled all day, imagining my manager breakdancing.

  1. August 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Good strategy, I gotta try it!

    • August 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      It’s made a world of difference for me, especially with practice and a growing body of results confirming my suspicions! 🙂

  2. August 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The power of positive thinking!

  3. August 7, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I’m kind of rooting for “Skeletor takes over the universe.” (I never could help feeling a little bad for the guy.)

  4. August 7, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Oh boy. I’m going to tattoo this onto my husband who constantly thinks the sky is falling. I love him dearly but he is driving me nuts.

  5. August 7, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Does one of those say “forced to eat poop”?! Hehe!

    I’ll have to try this. Might be helpful with my anxiety, as I usually jump to the worst case scenario for, well, life and stick with that.

  6. August 8, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I do this, too! Because being able to imagine the worst of all things is the downside of having a good imagination… and of course we’re not going to trade in the good imagination for anything, so, it must be managed. Loved this.

    • August 8, 2015 at 10:57 am


      (Anthony asked, “Twilight Sparkle joining you is possible?” I replied, “Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean couldn’t happen someday, with the right person finding the right magic stone or something!” He shook his head, but I was grinning. I don’t want to trade this for anything. And seriously, I kept giggling last night imagining my focused, diligent, on-point manager shouting, “Breakdance duel!!!” Yep, I’ll keep the imagination, even with its sticky parts. 😀

      (Did I just write all that in parenthetical?))

  7. NotAPunkRocker
    August 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I need to do this before work tomorrow 🙂

  8. August 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I need to borrow this strategy.

  9. August 15, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Love your diagram! And reusable in many future scenarios too, I’ll wager!

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