Anticipating an outcome can make you feel happy and hopeful. Yet, holding onto and worrying about an outcome can damage your psyche, can cause you to lose sleep, and can create unnecessary stress. I will admit that, sometimes when I make a decision, I think about it, ruminate on it, and think about all of the possible outcomes…good or bad. When I think of what could go wrong, I am “catastrophising.” Thinking of every possible negative outcome does not lead to positive results.

Some habits can be hard to break

If you’ve thought a certain way all of your life, it can be hard to change that mindset. If, in the past you were reprimanded or criticized for every decision you made, it can be understandable that you’d want to cover all of your bases before you get criticized for any future decision you’d make.

When you set yourself up for disappointment and failure,
…you feel disappointed
…you feel like a failure.
…you feel the feelings of disappointment long before the results are in.

Why do that to yourself?
Yes, this can be a defense mechanism…to protect yourself before you get hurt.

I always feel disappointment. And, sometimes I feel that disappointment twice. Here’s why…because I always feel that agony of rejection and criticism when I am anticipating the disappointment. And, that is not helpful. And, it definitely isn’t true. It is not living in truth. It’s living in the land of make-believe? Think about it…why would anyone want their land of make believe to be a miserable circumstance?

The mind is a powerful tool

The mind will believe what we tell it and if we’re not careful, we will believe everything our mind tells us. Knowing that we have control over our minds can be powerful and, yet, scary. It is and should be satisfying and powerful to know that I can control my thoughts. And, I can choose to feel good and happy about my decisions. Questioning yourself and living in indecision and fear of criticism is so incredibly isolating and extremely debilitating.

In Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” he writes,
“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fact that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Freeing your mind from extra clutter allows you to be in the present moment and experience more joy in your life.

Know that you are doing your very best and let go of any outcome.

As Don Miguel Ruiz states in one of the Four Agreements,
“Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

And that is all you need to ask of yourself.

About the author: To find out more about Julie Ostrow, please click here.


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

The Positive Psychology People is co-founded and sponsored
by Lesley Lyle and Dan Collinson,
Directors of Positive Psychology Learning and authors of the
8-week online Happiness Course

Find out more about positive psychology courses and training at 

Share This