Predictive Anxiety

12 February 2021

My friend Jalen recently told me about a new idea he’s implemented and I think it’s brilliant.

When he identifies he’s anxious about something he records his prediction of how likely it is to happen.

Percentage Prediction
30% Get fired from my job next month
40% Get forced to move house next month
10% Get incurable cancer next month

As he starts to record more of these predictions he notes down which of them come true and which of them don’t.

Eventually this allows him to calibrate his anxieties and concerns.

Slowly, as more of these events come to pass (or don’t) he records which ones came true and which didn’t.

This allows him to see how often they actually happen.

If he looks and sees that most of the anxieties he thinks are 40% likely to happen actually only happen 2% of the time, it provides him with concrete data to push back on his beliefs with.

Now, sometimes the brain can be a pernicious beast, and even when you have data it sometimes just won’t listen. So this certainly isn’t a fix-all solution to anything, but it is the first novel approach to anxiety I’ve seen in a long time and has the added benefit of helping you get a more accurate perception about the world and your predictions about it too.

I’m a big fan of people training their predictive ability, and this has just become my new favourite approach for how to use them in day to day life.

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