Have you ever slowed, stalled, or stopped because of negative fantasies? It happens to many people and it may be happening to you.
A negative fantasy is the idea that you are imagining the worst possible outcome. Instead of fantasizing about something positive or joyful, you’re imagining what happens next will be something terrible.
Perhaps you have an important meeting this week. Your schedule is tight but you’ve made room and this is your one shot. You may fantasize that your car won’t start, traffic will make you late, or the outcome of the meeting will be the worst possible scenario instead of the best.
You may have negative fantasies about an upcoming dental check-up, a doctor’s visit, or why your boss has summoned you to her office.
Sometimes it happens before a big presentation. The slide deck might crash, you’ll trip over your words, forget what you were supposed to say, or the audience won’t get your silly joke.
It could everything from an image of a rainstorm during your outdoor party to the image that eating one cookie is going to make you obese.
Negative fantasies may be a valuable marker that helps those who procrastinate or take situations for granted. It may help reel them in, keep them grounded, and perhaps most of all, keep them humble.
Too much fantasizing though, and it may derail performance. It may cause unnecessary worry and anxiety. In severe cases, it may cause people to hold back, stop trying, or never take any risk at all.
Risk is a fact of life. Taking little or no risk will hold you back.
Do you feel stuck or stalled? Is time flying by and when you look back, you’re fearful you haven’t done enough or accomplished enough?
Do you ask yourself why?
Your personal forecast of your future may be exactly what is slowing you down.
A positive fantasy seems much more valuable and realistic.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.