The Practical Problem: Construction ahead has you stalled on the interstate. You have the most important presentation of your career scheduled at 10 am.
The Emotional Problem: Your thoughts begin a spiral. “I should have left earlier”, “Come on, come on” (pounding the steering wheel), “Stupid government/contractors/cars”, “I’ll never make it”.
The Imagined Problem: Spinning out of control now – “I’ll probably lose my job”, “There won‘t ever be another opportunity like this“, How will I pay the bills”, “What will my family do”?
What to do? Focus only on the practical problem. Refuse to allow the other two. The emotional problem begins the negative cycle. The imagined problem is projecting events that haven’t happened – yet, thinking them, your emotions and body react as though they are actually occurring.
Stay with the practical problem! Logic, rational thinking and calm focus will help you avoid the other two.