Do you subconsciously consider yourself a fortune-teller, even when you know you cannot predict the future?
It is tempting to believe that we have all the answers. We all certainly wish we did. In many cases, however, this is not the case, and that is OK. When we don’t have all the answers to a situation and cannot predict the future, uncertainty coupled with our lack of control can often cause stress. When this takes place, do you ever find yourself jumping to negative conclusions about the future? Without realizing it, we can become our own remarkably inaccurate, self proclaimed fortune-tellers, anticipating negative outcomes to situations when there is not necessarily evidence to suggest that they will happen.
To check the accuracy of our own predictions, imagine explaining your anxious and speculative train-of-thought to your closest friend. Say it out loud, as if you are explaining it to them. Afterward, put yourself in their shoes. Seeing the situation through the eyes of your friend, try and be supportive and identify details in the prediction which are perhaps not based on hard evidence. Consider what is known and what is unknown. Are the unknowns speculatively being accepted as true? Is this leading to unnecessary anxiety, depression, and stress? After you have thought through this, think again about the likelihood of your original prediction being realized? After having analyzed it this way, is the original prediction worth worrying about in the present moment?
Whenever you find yourself spiraling into a negative and speculative train of thought, return to this exercise and do your best to view your situation from an outside perspective. You just might be able to reframe your worries and re-enter a place of calm and acceptance. You’ve got this!
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