I’d like to think I am an optimist but in truth, for most of my adult life I’ve lived by the motto “Hope for the Best but Expect the Worst”. O Mel Brooks.
By Expecting the Worst, I reasoned, I could never be disappointed. In fact, I’d almost always have things turn out better than expected! How awesome is that? Life always going right!! Well kinda. I’ve come to realize that I’m doing myself a disservice by maintaining this mindset. In fact I’ve come up with three major reasons “expecting the worse” is the worst possible thing you can do.
1. You are living in a constant negative state.
Negativity is not good for us. Literally. There are more and more studies showing that negative thoughts seriously affect how our body’s organs and electrical systems function. We’ve all seen this physical effect in action, though we may not have realized it. The Placebo Effect. Patients given a sugar pill and told it contained healing medication feel better and actually get better then patients without it. The pill does nothing in this scenario however the positive IDEA of the pill is incredibly important. The patient’s positive thoughts helped them heal….can you imagine what our negative thoughts are doing?
To make matters worse our brains are biologically wired to react more to negativity then to positive thoughts. So each negative thought is creating havoc in our bodies through stress, inflammation, and who knows what else. A prime example of this is “Medstudentitus” which according to this article is an actual syndrome. A medical student learning about diseases and their symptoms, while under a lot of stress will actually start having the symptoms they were reading about. Not only will all this negative thinking make you sick it will also ruin your relationships. One of the key signs of a healthy relationship is a balance of negative and positive feelings. When there is too much negativity, the relationship suffers which of course feeds more negativity.
So negativity makes you sick and ruins your relationships. So why am I choosing to look at the future negatively by “expecting the worse?”. I am literally killing myself with my line of thinking.
2. You manifest what you believe.
Now while I don’t believe that we can will what we want into existence by believing with all our might, I do think that our beliefs manifest in our lives. If I believe I am creative, you can bet I’m going to create more and probably BE more creative. If I believe I can learn to live tiny, the trials and tribulations I run across in the process won’t deter me from my path. If I believe I’m flexible, I will be more flexible in trying situations. Now take the case where I believe that worst case scenario is going to happen so I don’t get disappointed. Now I believe that moving into the Airstream is going to be a complete disaster and Steve an
d I are going to end up hating life and each other. Ummmm. You see what I’m getting at? I am self sabotaging my life!
3. You are a victim of circumstance rather than the creator of your own life.
I strongly believe that each us creates our lives through the choices we make (or do not make). My ideal life is one in which I live the life I choose therefore I don’t like the idea of being a victim of circumstance.
But yet that’s exactly what I’m forcing myself to be by expecting the worse. By expecting the worse I’m not giving myself the chance to change things for the better. Let’s take a dire example where my doctor diagnoses me with an awful debilitating disease. Now if I were to just expect the worse, I’d be expecting death, pain, and hardship. Come on! Of course I’m going to fight to live! I’m going to think positive thoughts, change my behaviours to give me a better chance and seek out any help I can find. I won’t take something like that lying down. Why should I act any differently for the rest of my life?
So if I’m not going to “expect the worse” any longer what will I expect? NOTHING! I’m going to …
Hope for the bEst, but Live in the Moment
Today we are driving up to Phoenix to pick up Charlie, our Airstream, and as of tomorrow night our new home. I am excited and nervous but I am NOT expecting anything. I’m going to enjoy the experience as it happens instead of trying to project out all the what-ifs. I want to savor this milestone in our lives and the only way to truly do that is to be present and not deep in my own head. I can’t wait to share everything with you soon!