Worst Case- Fear and OCPD

Sometimes we know our fears our irrational. Fear of heights? Yes, I know there is glass in the window. Fear of clowns. No, I've never encounterd a homicidal Bozo.

It's pretty easy to fight through those,

But some seem so big, so real, that we take for granted that they are rational. We have bought into out fearful narrative for so long, we can't see that it might be just as irrational as a fear or mice.

The key is to think throught it.
We act our of fear habits too much, and give them too much power. Try this thought exercise: What is the worst that can happen, if that fear comes true?

For example: I'm scared of my hair looking messy at work. Worst case: my boss thinks I'm messy. So? He treats me with contempt. So what? He fires me... So? I am in the poorhouse.

I mean, is that logical? Do I really think messy hair will lead me to financial ruin? As vain as I sometimes am, I don't even believe that. It's possible he will treat me differently if I constantly look like a slob. But, knowing my boss, even that stinks like a random justification,
The fact is, my "worst case senerio" makes no sense. Once I think it through I have to laugh. And the fear gets less powerfull. I can stop that worry from taking over.

Lets do another common OCPD fear: Cleaning. So I act like I"m afraid to leave dishes in the sink at night. What is the worst case? My fiance sees them the next morning. So? He thinks I'm dirty, or gets mad. So? He leaves me. So? I"m lonely. Another worst case: Mice come into my kitchen to feast on crumbs in the sink, SO? They carry dieases. SO? The bite me or my dog, making us sick.

Wow... see I can go on and on. Its fun, in a twisted way. I mean, if my fiance was the kind of man to yell about dishes or leave me, then I am with the wrong person. And mice would have to be pretty smart and quick to infiltrate my home over on night of dishes.

Now some fears make sense. And even thinking about the worst case of very real fears can help me to feel more prepared. But its the silly ones, the fearful habits I keep acting out, that get dismantled by this little mind game.

Less fears mean less random, meaningless obsessions. Life is too short to waste on fears that make not sense!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thinking of the worst case scenario is a great way to illustrate the absurdity of all those irrational fears.