What To Do When You're CatastrophizingJun 05, 2023
CATASTROPHIZING. WE ALL DO IT.
He can wear a pull-up now, but what about when he gets to Kindergarten?
If we skip brushing teeth tonight, the next dentist appointment is going to be full of cavities.
What about when he's 16 and can't join a club or make a friend?
If I don't nip this in the bud now, it's going to get so much worse.
We let our thoughts spiral from the present moment's struggle to the worst possible future outcome, Then we work backward, deciding what to do now based on what we're afraid will happen later.
But good decision-making never comes out of fear.
LEAN INTO TRUST
Instead of leaning into your fears about what could happen, what if you tried leaning into trust?
What if I trusted myself to handle whatever comes?
What if I trusted my child to do the best they're capable of, no matter what situation presents itself?
What if I trusted this relationship to withstand any challenge or struggle?
What If I trusted this process to lead us where we need to go?
YOU ARE WORTHY OF YOUR OWN TRUST
Ultimately, the most difficult person to trust is ourselves.
The future is not promised. So many of us have learned that things do not always get better. It's not a steady line toward a beautiful new tomorrow. However, when we continue to show up for ourselves, when we are present to our needs and have the courage to bring them out into the world, we can face what comes.
IT’S OKAY TO BE AFRAID
As you notice thoughts like, "what if..."/"what about when..."/"it's going to be...." rising up, recognize that they are the vanguards of a powerful emotion.
Say to yourself:
I am afraid right now.
I am vulnerable right now.
I need support right now.
FEAR NEEDS COMFORT
Try tending to your physical needs. Wrap your arms around yourself for a small squeeze. Rock your body side to side. Take a long slow breath, blowing it out through tight lips like a straw.
Instead of asking, what's the worst thing that could happen if I take this step or drop this demand? which leads into spiraling, worst-case-scenario thinking, ask:
What do I need to make the best decision I can right now?
When we are catastrophizing into the future, we are operating out of fear. Fear has concrete needs that need to be addressed and is not a steady ground from which to make accurate predictions or solid decisions.
You can trust yourself.
You can trust your relationship with your child.
You can trust this path before you.
Lean toward the trust.
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