The brain is a prediction machine. Its main purpose is to keep you alive and the better it can predict the future, the better it can keep you away from harm. So it will try to conceive all the possible scenarios it can, as to be able to avoid them. And, of course, it will focus on the bad scenarios, since that’s what it has to defend you from.
In theory, at least, because overthinking leads to nowhere good.
The way we think influences the way we feel and act. If we’re lingering on a bad outcome, we’ll begin to feel anxious, we might become fearful and we might act in such a way to avoid it altogether. ”Mission accomplished!”, says the brain.
But think of it another way. Nothing that you’re imagining is actually real. It hasn’t happened yet and it will probably never even happen as you imagine it. So it’s not real.
On the other hand, if you think positive thoughts about an outcome, that’s also not real, due to the same reasons. So why not believe what’s good for you? If neither is true nor real, why believe the negative scenarios, thus self-fulfilling the prophecy?
Because, just as bad thoughts influence the way we feel and act, in the same way good thoughts influence us. If we think that a meeting will go well, we’ll be confident about it and we’ll act accordingly. If we act with confidence, the chances of that meeting to be successful drastically increase.
I know it’s hard, I’ve always struggled with this and I still do. It’s just easier nowadays. Just like everything else, this is also a habit. So it requires determination and practice, but it will eventually get better.
Why not self-fulfil the positive prophecies, instead of the bad ones?
But if both scenarios become self-fulfilling prophecies, wouldn’t that mean that everything in our head becomes real, and we have to be careful what that is?