Erika and I love to play the worst-case scenario game. Just in case everything goes to hell. It’s good to be “prepared”. We usually end up laughing really hard and realizing that nothing that bad could ever happen or at least not in that particularly horrid way.
What you do is you envision just how terrible things could get if they were the worst they could ever possibly get.
For me I would lose my business. My hands would be chopped off in a freak accident and I wouldn’t be able to do massage. In fact I’d have lost my arms and my legs leaving no possible way for me to do any kind of massage at all. And I wouldn’t be able to type or make collages either. Or walk downtown.
I’d have to fashion some kind of contraption that would enable me to still read or have someone donate their time (as I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay them) to listen to podcasts with me and read to me.
I’d have to have everything done for me and would be completely bedridden against my will. I could learn to do things with my mouth the way quadrepelegic people learn to thrive.
Or if I kept my legs I would have to learn how to do everything with my feet which would be a great skill.
If I simply lost my job and was unable to work as a massage therapist any longer I would probably go back to being a barista or become a bartender or waitress. I might go back to school and study psychology. I’d do more dog sitting and house sitting. I might move back home or move into a house with with bunch of random people (because I wouldn’t need to have an office in my house so I could be less picky) who might or might not become new friends. I wouldn’t be attached to my job so I could just pick up and move away to another state or another country without fear of letting anyone down.
For every horrible downside there’s a new avenue. A new and interesting path. My Plan Z would probably lead to a new levels of personal strength, resilience, and empathy for people who are struggling.
Try this. Write down your Plan Z in all its wretchedness. Every detail. Every fear. Every shameful scenario. Write it out. Read it back.
Then say to yourself:
“My Plan Z will probably never happen. But even if it does, I will still be OK.”
Then laugh and keep moving forward.
You have survived. You will survive. You can handle whatever comes next.