Plan for the worst, expect the best.
We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking. The message we all took home from ‘The Secret’ was believe it, and it will come.
Goals can’t be created by belief alone. A plan is essential. That’s not to say we shouldn’t dream big and have vision boards and imagine how good it will feel when we have achieved our dreams. The missing piece is the need for a specific plan for achieving the goals and dreams, one that takes into account the challenges we are going to face and how we can overcome them.
Sometimes we worry if thinking about ‘what if things don’t go to plan’ and ‘what if I don’t get what I want ‘ might manifest the negative outcome we want to avoid. The problem is that if you fail to plan for the potential obstacles and how you might overcome them if they do occur you’re leaving yourself exposed to failure.
How can you harness the power of negative thinking to achieve your goal?
When you have a goal in mind, it’s important to be clear about exactly the outcomes you want. This is where vision boards and affirmations play their part. The next, essential step is to prepare for the thoughts, people, situations or places that stand between you and your outcome.
You need your ‘what if’ plan.
1. Think about the potential obstacles and challenges you may face as you work towards your goal.
If your goal is healthy eating what will you do if you get stressed or bored? What if there’s a birthday and someone offers you a cake, or you have no food at home and you’re driving past that great takeaway place?
If your goal is fitness what will you do if work gets busy, you have a bad nights sleep, your body clock and Does Netflix interrupt your attempts to implement a workout routine?
If your goal is cut down on alcohol, what happens if a friend drops in with champagne, or everyone’s heading out for Friday night drinks? How will you handle a terrible day or a fight with a significant other?
2. Once you’ve considered all the possible scenarios and your obstacles are clear, you can get to work planning all the creative solutions and possible strategies to hurdle you right past the challenges and closer to the finish line.
Carefully planning and rehearsing what will you say or do if the ‘what ifs’ do happen might seem to fly in the face of the ‘think positive' message. However, by taking time for some ‘negative thinking’ you are in fact empowering and resourcing yourself for success.
Harnessing the power of negative thinking, you can navigate obstacles with ease and create the goals you dream of.
Article by Dietitian and Health Coach, Sharon Curtain