Pessimistic Imagination

Originally published on 7/23/2015

In our house, my wife usually feeds our 2 basset hounds. And, she usually does so while I'm making dinner for the 2-legged residents of our house. But, every once in a while, the people dinner is ready before the canine dinner is, prompting Shelly to ask me to feed the dogs while she does something else.

Nearly every time, I have an immature emotional reaction that could best be summed up as "I don't wanna". Somehow, in my imagination, this is some horrible task unworthy of my attention, rather than a 120 second task that takes as little time as watching 4 dog food commercials.

Stupid pessimistic imagination.

Clearly, my imagination likes to blow things out of proportion, and nearly always in a negative sense. I'm betting yours is the same way.

Have a difficult conversation that you need to have tomorrow? I bet your pessimistic imagination can come up with 1000 ways they'll overreact and make the conversation as uncomfortable as possible.

For every task or situation I don't want to face, my pessimistic imagination somehow has access to a limitless fount of creativity to come up with scenarios that reinforce my lack of desire to tackle reality head-on.

The thing is, though, that when I manage to ignore my pessimistic imagination long enough to actually engage in the distasteful task, it's NEVER anywhere near as bad as ANY of the scenarios my imagination came up with.

I really need to get better at using that track record against it. How about you?