Often I hear people say they don’t want to talk about something because they might “jinx” it and make things worse. Does simply talking about something have the power to effect change? Isn’t that what counseling is all about? Talking about something to lead to change.
I wonder if perhaps there is a fear that things are imbalanced and the slightest attention to this could disrupt this delicate state. Individuals would then have to examine their role in maintaining this cycle and inevitably have to do something about it. Change can be difficult. Most people tolerate concerns versus challenging themselves as it often takes considerable effort to self-reflect and see what could be better and what they are willing to do to achieve it.
Often we worry about potential events that are unlikely, but take up a lot of our conscious thought. “What if” prohibits us from making changes and testing out our hypotheses and adapting to our world. If we take a moment to contemplate the “possibilities” perhaps we would never go outside again. But what if we looked at the “probabilities” of something happening. For example, how likely is it that a disastrous event will occur? We can look at our history and determine how many disastrous events have we experienced. This would tell us the regularity of this occurring. If something has never happened or infrequently happened over the course of our lives is this a realistic reason to halt our forward momentum? Do you stay inside every day because it may rain…..or do you bring along your umbrella?
So when we consider jinxing something by talking about it…..ask yourself “has this happened before that something got worse when we examined it?”. Or is it more likely that things were more out in the open and allowed everyone to share their concerns and find a more manageable solution? Possibly the something worse we fear is that we will have to “do something” and we are concerned about our capacity to be successful and maintain the new level of expectations we have for ourselves. Isn’t this what self-esteem is based on? Learning new things about ourselves through challenges and successes.
So the next time you hesitate to talk about something because of a fear of “jinxing” the status quo you are maintaining…..ask yourself “Could it possibly get worse? Stay the same? Or probably get better?” Are the odds in your favor?