Like many people, I have a tendency to over anticipate certain discussions before they happen, particularly ones that require me to make a decision. I like to be prepared and I sometimes confuse being prepared with over thinking a scenario that has to play out.

In our kitchen renovation, which is providing me with a lot of learning experiences right now, I find myself anticipating the contractor’s daily questions. Since I work from home, I am available for the questions, which is handy, but I’ve noticed that I spend more time worrying about questions that might come up than I need to.

Yesterday, when the builder called me into the kitchen for a question, I took a couple of deep breaths and told myself to focus on listening rather than anticipate what he might ask me. The question: Did I mind having the same discrepancy in ceiling height or did I want to re-strap the ceilings in the kitchen and living room to make them completely level? I opted for the discrepancy. The character of the house kept along with less labor and cost.

Exhale. Phew, not so bad.

But what about when the discussion goes worse than you expected?

That is what we fear, right? The bad news.

Whether the discussion relates to finances, to our health, to our work or our relationships, we frequently fear the worst, and our fear is largely the cause of our over anticipation. The worst doesn’t present itself nearly as much as we worry about it. When we do get bad news, here is what we do:

We consider our options.

We problem solve.

We plan.

We keep going.

We change the course down the road, if need be.

We know this and yet we still tend to over think things. We can catch ourselves, though, and change our thinking.

What kind of discussion makes you over anticipate?

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