Smart use of negative anticipation

Negative anticipation I know a lot of you don’t like to read too much. So, I have for you a quite smaller version of this article. So little that it fits in a tweet. Actually, I may possibly tweet this: You can BREAK Murphy’s Laws, but please…do not ignore them! (José Negreira dixit :) ) Ok, that’s the end of the short version! Extended version I feel motivation to write about negative anticipation, not just because I know a lot of close people that deals with it, but it also happens TO MYSELF. But there are not all bad news: I’m doing my best attempt to detect it on time, and even better: to discover how this can be USEFUL.

What is negative anticipation?

The anticipation, is the ability to foresee future events with precision, without actually happening. If I put my fingers in the electricity plug, I get electrocuted! No need to do that. As you may know, this is not exclusive for humans, animals know EXACTLY where to avoid putting their head or fingers. And the anticipation becomes negative, as its name implies: when what we are anticipating is anything but positive: failure, loss, poor health, illness, death, etc.

When does it become a problem?

It’s a problem, when what we anticipate is negative AND ALSO we get too much involved while imagining that situation. We are ‘living’ that situation even though it didn’t happen. Each situation, we loss blood pressure, we sweat, hand sweating, etc. If this happens, we were affected as it was happening. Remember Matrix Movie, when Neo jumps and falls from the building, he disconnects from the Matrix, and altough all was imagined, inside his mind, he has blood in his mouth! So, he asks Morpheus:

Neo: But, how can I ACTUALLY bleed? Morpheus: Your mind makes it real.

So beware of your mind! And… here’s the problem (two problems): A) If the situation REALLY happens, we have been DOUBLY affected. When we ancitipated it, and when it really happened. B) If the situation DIDN’T happened, we were affected anyway, but just imagining it! Not a cool scenario. I’m not saying it’s easy to avoid it, but it’s about a small mental shift.

Where is the positive part of negative anticipation?

It’s different to suffer from negative anticipation, and to use negative anticipation. Try to use it wisely. if you think there is no positive side, I invite you to think the following: About managing risks, I think there’s nothing better that contemplate ALL risks, without leaving not any out of your radar, Don’t you agree? But, you need to hit the pause button right now: You have the situation in your mind, put it in a PAPER, in a schema, in a picture. You want to keep it in your mind? wrong option. Pick somewhere else! What do you think?

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