Monday, December 14, 2020

“Rehearsing Tragedy”

I’m a self-proclaimed serial Googler. I’m not the hypochondriac who types their symptoms into a search bar and immediately thinks they have a week to live. I’m close, but I’m not quite that bad. I am, however, one to over-research. I often make the mistake of thinking being educated is always the best option. In reality, ignorance really can be bliss because there are some things you simply cannot control. So when Brene Brown introduced the idea of “dress-rehearsing tragedy” in her Netflix special, I felt attacked and personally victimized.

There’s nothing wrong with being a realist. Blind optimism can be annoying to the realist because no, everything is not always going to be okay. Preparing yourself for the worst is an effort to protect yourself from disappointment. The tactic sounds good on paper, but it should not be confused with rehearsing tragedy.

When you find yourself in a potentially bad situation and the outcome is unknown, unpredictable, and unalterable, what is researching the issue, ruminating on the worst possible outcome, and preparing yourself for the worst really doing?

You’re spiraling and agonizing over something that hasn’t even happened yet and most likely will never happen. Is the worst case scenario possible? Of course! Is it likely? Probably not. The worry you fabricate is more harmful than whatever you’re worrying about, so stop rehearsing tragedy.