A catastrophe journal

Worth a try if you think it might help the way you talk to yourself (which is worse, certainly, than the way anyone else talks to you).

Every time you’re sure you’ve blown it, completely blown it, that you’re certain you’re going to get disbarred, fired, demoted—becoming friendless, homeless and futureless—write it down in your Catastrophe Journal.

A simple blank book, always use the same one.

Just a few sentences, that’s all you need. Write down:

  • What you did that was so horrible.
  • The consequences you expect since the world as you know it is now coming to an end.

Do this every time a catastrophe occurs.

What you’ll find, pretty certainly, is that two things happen:

  1. You will realize over time that your predictions of doom don’t occur, and
  2. As soon as you begin writing down the details, the cycle we employ of making the details worse and worse over time will slow and stop.

A month of persistence is usually all you need to begin to break the habit.

It’s not really a catastrophe. It simply feels that way.