Plan for the worst, expect the best

I often come up with ideas to write about in batches. Those ideas sustain my ability to write a blog a week for sometimes several months.  The idea for this blog came to me after an especially difficult set of events where I was completing a series of tests, each of which carried a long list of requirements. It was really challenging, especially that last one; and it was the above mantra that saw me through: Plan for the worst, expect the best.

That mantra helped me because when things get especially difficult, I often find myself thinking the opposite: Plan for the best, expect the worst. I would buoy myself up by fantasies that everything was fine and then, just as often, things wouldn’t go well, ending my day with the thought “How did this happen again!”. I actually expected the worst, even though I’d planned for the best.

That kind of thinking is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The saying in therapy is, for something to change, do something – anything – different.  I began to put my imagination to better use than staying in fantasy: I began to imagine what winning would look like; and that led me to the realization that in order to win, I had to be prepared for anything.

Now I expect to win, which means I come prepared for anything.



If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for a sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!



Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at .



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *