Article by Vincent Olivier - L'EXPRESS -

isolated 157527 mI would like to come back here to another interesting approach to the book that I mentioned in my previous post. It is “the fantasy of the worst”, an approach imagined in the early 90s by two psychotherapists, an American, Paul Watzlawick , and an Italian, Giorgio Nardonne . A priori surprising, even counterintuitive, this technique seems very relevant to me and can be extremely effective when you experience a feeling of fear, panic even in the face of an unknown and destabilizing situation.

What is it about ? Take the case of an employee to whom his line manager entrusts an important mission, and who fears not being able to meet his expectations: "At first, he will do everything to avoid thinking about it because the simple fact contemplating failure puts them in a state of intolerable stress, explains Claude de Scorraille, co-founder of the consulting firm LACT . But thinking about not thinking about something is, in itself, mentally exhausting. Especially since the more we (don't) think about it (not), the more we think about it! Instead of dissipating anxiety, it feeds it again and again. As a result, the employee in question doubts himself to the point of no longer knowing what the real threat is: being wrong? Fail ? Disappoint? And he ends up being paralyzed by an issue that is beyond him. »

This is precisely where Claude de Scorraille comes in: she will offer him to experience the fantasy of the worst – and this, in a voluntary and repeated way! In this case, it is therefore a question of considering a possible failure of the mission by examining the most terrible possible consequences: becoming the laughing stock of one's colleagues, enduring the general opprobrium, being summoned by the big boss, retrograde. Even, being fired overnight without compensation. Become long-term unemployed. To suffer shame and dishonor. Lose balance. Divorce. Find yourself on the street.

Stop! Let us pause for a moment on this dramatic and unbearable sequence. Is all this necessarily going to happen? Do "I" really mean it? By activating the speculation machine in this way, am I not rather scaring myself? And thereby giving in to the temptation of omnipotence. Because deep down, to believe that my failure, however difficult to live with, would cause such consequences, is also to believe that the company would rest entirely on my shoulders. For good (if I succeed), for bad (if I fail).

And that's the whole point of the process: distinguishing between the real and the imaginary, facing one's fears by accepting one's vulnerability, distinguishing between what belongs to me and what does not belong to me. And, as a result, regain confidence. Leaves, once this test crossed - because it is one, painful, destabilizing - to go to see his boss. To tell him about it. Tell him the anguish of not being up to it. Or even ask him for advice. Chick?…