I hope you and your family are safe, well, and enjoying the holiday season. We have the Charlie Brown Christmas album on repeat over at my house right now, and it’s definitely helping us find some cheer.
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This week I wanted to share a tool I’ve used with a few clients recently. There have been some rave reviews about the power of this practice.
This tool is a mantra and practice that is particularly useful for my planners. If you’re someone that thinks 3 steps ahead and is great at anticipating roadblocks or issues, you need this tool. It’s also useful for folks who do doom dreaming. Doom dreaming is when you rehearse all of the things that can go wrong and day dream about doom, anticipating what might happen and how you can prepare for it.
Ayurvedically, this tool is most applicable for my Kaphas and Pittas. Kaphas can have a major fear of change and tend to struggle with making life changes like a new job or relationship, even when they’re not happy in their current situation. Because they doom dream about a worse future, it feels safer to stay where they are and it can lead to being and feeling stuck and stale.
Pittas, on the other hand, are such great planners that they can get overly focused on risk mitigation. Their desire to control can make them be consumed with thoughts about everything that can go wrong, and their minds start to swirl into doom dreaming as they try to prepare for the worst case scenario.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to learn how to manage the doom dreaming. Here’s the mantra to say to yourself: If I’m going to consider the worst case scenario, I also have to consider the best case scenario.
Yep. It’s time to give equal attention to the bad and the good.
A lot of us can feel silly or scoff at giving attention to the best case scenarios. You might get superstitious, and feel that thinking about what could go right might ruin your chances of success. Or maybe you’re afraid to get your hopes up and be disappointed. Perhaps you’ve been called naive or you feel shallow or irresponsible if you imagine everything going exactly as you want it to.
I would argue, though, that doom dreaming is just as fanciful as thinking about all of the positives. In both cases, we’re looking ahead to a future that hasn’t happened yet. What is going to happen tomorrow is a mystery – none of it is known or knowable. So why not spend just as much time thinking about the good as the bad?
When we give attention to both the positives and the negatives, we interrupt the storyline in our heads that feels sure that everything is going to turn out wrong. By looking at two different scenarios – positive and negative – we can see that we don’t know what is going to happen. We loosen the grip of fear or anxiety about an outcome and can get curious about what might happen next. This gives us the freedom to refocus on what we can do in this moment to support the best possible outcome. It means we can take action to support a positive outcome, not just avoid a negative outcome.
What have you been doom dreaming about? What is the best case scenario? Notice how spending time on the best case scenario might change your relationship to the situation.
PS – I’m hosting special holiday 30-minute coaching sessions on December 12th. We’ll dive deep into one issue that’s making you feel stuck this holiday season, so you can get clarity and an action plan. No more doom dreaming! You’ll receive a recording and written recap of our session. Spots are limited – sign up here!Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,