Updated: Oct 25, 2021
I've taught my children when problems arise to look at the worst case scenario - if you can live with that, then you can deal with the problem. If you can't, you need to put some plans into action.
My son was recently interviewing for a life-time career position. It was the brass ring of jobs, but nine-hundred other people were also jockeying for the position. The worst-case scenario was he didn't get an offer. From that outcome, he planned what other options were available in the field he wanted to work in, who would be his next pick, and how that would affect his overall career. He had a plan.
There are times where the worst-case scenario is unthinkable, like when my daughter's fiancée was in the hospital with COVID. But, with that in mind, we sought every doctor's advice we could find. We called friends who had contacts with top doctors. These doctors called the hospital and spoke with the attending physician. It helped her, and it helped us.
When planning for the worst-case scenario, we do a couple of things. We allow our mind to settle on solutions for the problem, which often lessens the stress. If there is trouble at work and the worst-case scenario is losing a job, there's time to plan for that outcome: save money, get a resume in tip-top shape, start reaching out to colleagues. The outcome may not be that at all, but it helps to be prepared.
Most times the worst-case scenario never happens. But being ready allows you to better navigate the waters of decision making and be in control of your emotions and your life. And, I'm proud to say, that my son landed that job :) - which is the flip side of this article - many times we end up with the best-case scenario.