This week’s blog post will continue on from last week’s blog on Fear Management, part 3 of 5 in the series Mental Toughness for which I did the training on for the White Collar Boxers.

The next mental tool you can employ when you’re facing fear is to imagine the worst case scenario.  This is effective because by imagining the worst case scenario, you have created a lower bound for yourself in which all possible outcomes from the situation that is causing you so much fear cannot be any worse.  And once you imagine the worst case scenario, two things begin to happen: a) you start to rationalise to yourself what is the likelihood of this worst case scenario happening; and b) what are you going to do about it to ensure the worst case scenario doesn’t actually happen.  By doing this rather simple mental exercise, you begin accessing your logical and rational side of your brain which calms down your fears and kickstarts the beginnings of a plan to do better.

The worst case scenario may be really bad, but not bad enough that it’s going to kill you.  And as the saying goes: “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.  Yes, it’s a little cliche, but what you’re doing is you’re re-framing the whole situation so instead of perceiving it as win or lose, white or black, it is now a learning opportunity.  It is a chance for you to struggle with an event that you’re not too familiar with and to learn whatever lessons you can so the next time around will be better.  You may even learn something about yourself as you are struggling through it.  Re-frame the situation from an all-or-nothing mentality to a learning opportunity and adopt a constant improvement mentality.

“If you’re scared of something coming up, practice the shit out of it.”

Preparation. Prepare yourself for the event.  Spend time and energy beforehand to uncover everything you can about it so you reduce the unknowns.  It dispels fear precisely because it instills confidence.  It allows you to hone your skills and get better at what you’re doing.  This one is also a no-brainer.  If you’re scared of something coming up, practice the shit out of it.

As for me and the filming of China’s Next Top Model, I had little time to prepare.  The script was unfortunately a bit too long and last minute for me to get it down – but I tried.  I rehearsed it over and over again and even made an executive decision to skip some parts so I can at least get some of the lines flawless.  I had the worst case scenario in mind, which is what freaked me out initially, but employed mediation and breathing techniques to calm myself down so that I can continue rehearsing my lines.  I accepted the fact that it’s not going to be my best performance, but I really wanted to train a group, in 100% Chinese, and in front of the cameras.  I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, and by changing my perception of the shoot, it helped me to deal with the fear.  It was a big learning opportunity for me and if it all went to shit, at least it would’ve made for a great story to tell in the future!  I re-framed the event to a learning opportunity and gave it a positive spin despite how it would eventually turn out.

Two men faces and white powder

Curious about how I did?  I am as well…

For those of you who actually read all the way to the bottom of this blog, congratulations!  You are invited to the screening of the 7th episode of China’s Next Top Model where it will be aired on national television next week Thursday, July 2nd at 21:30 on Chongqing TV (重庆卫视).

Please join me next Thursday after my ACT class for some food catered by the delicious, and healthy global cuisine restaurant Remedy 365 and watch me make a fool out of myself.  I have absolutely no idea how it will turn out.  But you can RSVP to confirm your attendance.

We become fearful when we are faced with the unknown.  We are afraid because we are uncertain about the future or about the outcome of an event – especially of failing.  By imagining the worst case scenario, you have established the (worst) outcome.  By re-framing the situation you can change your perception into a positive learning event and with the right attitude, it can even become an entertaining event.



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