Does anything bad ever happen in your life?
That’s probably a silly question.
I would venture to say that 99.9% of us out there have gone through some tough times.
Those tough times are the result of many different things. Those that are our own fault. Those that we never saw coming. Personal life. Professional life.
Anything can happen and from time to time bad things do.
Over my life I’ve tried to frame bad things in a specific context and it seems to work pretty well.
What’s the worst case scenario?
Let’s say you lose your job.
Not a pleasant scenario.
I graduated college in the Spring of 2007. I got a great job. Then sometime in 2009 the company announced that there would be layoffs.
Welcome to the real world.
Thankfully I kept my job, but I remember specifically thinking to myself: What’s the worst case scenario?
The prospect of losing my job made me think about how to react. Let’s say things really took a fall. I lose my job. I struggle to find a new job.
I started going through it all. Playing it all out.
And I tried to think of the worst case.
That was finding any job I could. Working at the gas station. Doing odd yard work. Anything.
And don’t get me wrong. None of those jobs should be looked down upon or anything like that. I was just going through every option.
The worst case probably involved leaving my apartment. I didn’t have any debt at the time so I was lucky that way. No wife. No kids. Running pretty lean all things considered.
I could leave my apartment and get a roommate. Cut back from a few hundred to maybe a hundred or so. Eat peanut butter sandwiches. Live really lean.
And you know what?
That didn’t really shock me that much.
Yes, it wouldn’t be very fun cutting back on everything to the absolute bare bones, but it wasn’t really that bad.
Now when difficult times come I kind of go through the same process.
Sell the house. Sell one of the vehicles. Sell all the possessions. Live meager.
It’s never really that bad.
Obviously it can be more difficult than that, but this practice has eased my mind and allowed me to think through difficult times.
This line of thinking has also changed how I look at taking chances.
I’m still not much of a chance taker. I don’t think it’s wise to take any and every chance.
But when you consider, “What’s the worst that could happen?” you start to frame chance and risk differently.
When I left my job to run Ghost Blog Writers full-time I thought of an entrepreneur I knew. His story was that when he was in his early twenties he had a wife and two young kids to support. He started his business. It wasn’t easy. There were times when money was extremely tight.
I looked at that situation and realized I really had no excuse not to give Ghost Blog Writers a shot.
And I still think about that today when it’s time to try to take chances with GBW.
What’s the worst that could happen?
I think it’s human tendency to kind of freak out when change occurs. Especially what we might initially perceive as negative change.
But change is inevitable in life.
I’ve found that a pretty good way of dealing with it is not to get worked up, anxious and worried. Although I still do that sometimes.
Instead, though, I try to consider the worst case scenario. Usually that scenario isn’t too bad. That eases my mind and allows me to come back to the present and figure out a path forward.