Thinking the Worst!
by:  George Tannous, PhD

Become a Certified Life Coach

Print Module 2
Print Workbook

Thinking th Worst - Awfulizing Lesson at

Important: Before you study this lesson please watch this video, “Why?“.  Example:  If you or your client are in a relationship and the other person displayed an attitude of not being “Truthful”, you’ll need to master, and you’ll need to educate your client the following: “Confront and Level!”,  “Assertive Communications!”, as well as “I Feel Good, PST!”

Make sure to answer the questions at the end and follow the instructions for submission!


We as humans have a tendency of controlling things. We try to control things as it gives us a sense of security and certainty. We feel that if we are able to control the situation, we can predict what happens next and plan accordingly. 


While taking control is great, it becomes a problem when we try to control things that are clearly out of our control. It becomes a greater problem when we are fully aware that no matter how hard we try to control the outcome of the situation, it won’t work and yet we choose to dwell on it which makes our lives miserable.

But do we stop? No, we don’t.



As a result, we find ourselves fretting about the future. “Will I get that job?” “Will my dad be OK in the retirement home?” “Will my son get bullied in school?” These are some examples that illustrate how we often fret about things or situations; the aspects of which are out of our control.



But things become even worse when we start jumping to worst-case scenarios. We start imagining horrible things happening to us or our loved ones. These worst-case scenarios are not real, they are just a result of our thoughts. And even when we are aware of this, we can’t stop obsessing over these negative thoughts.



“What if I end up getting fired after getting selected in that organization?” “What if my dad slips on the stairs?” “What if my son gets beaten up by bullies at school?” These are some examples that illustrate how we sometimes jump to some of the most horrible scenarios. Do you see the difference between the previous examples and these? 



The previous examples illustrate how we fret about the future while these examples show how we imagine horrific events in our heads. How we “awfulize” situations. If you are someone who experiences this, you are not alone.



What is “awfulizing”?

The term “awfulizing” was sparked by the American psychologist Albert Ellis. The term refers to an irrational thought process that overemphasizes negative and horrific consequences of situations and events. For example, imagine two people are traveling by air. Everything is going pretty smoothly, and people are enjoying their complimentary snacks. 



All of a sudden, the plane starts experiencing turbulence. While most people on the flight take the situation light, one person with the habit of awfulizing doesn’t let it go. Even though he understands that it’s common for planes to experience turbulence, he starts over thinking the situation.



He starts imagining the luggage flying off of the overhead compartments, he starts picturing multiple engine failure, blasts and fire on the plane, and the entire scene plays in front of his eyes like a movie where the plane crashes and everybody dies.



Even though the person is fully aware that his thoughts are illogical, even though he fully understands that what he is thinking is mere fiction created by his brain and nothing of such sort is going to happen, he still cannot put a halt to his thoughts. Imagine the horror he must be experiencing.



The process of awfulizing is not only emotionally draining but also self-defeating.  Awfulizing not only takes a toll on our emotional state but also impacts other areas of our lives. The constant overthinking and worrying increases stress levels, lowers our productivity, restricts our creativity, and increases anxiety. 


Some people suffer from panic attack. And it doesn’t stop here. When you are emotionally overwhelmed, it affects you physically. It lowers down your energy levels, your heart starts racing, you get a weird feeling in your gut, you start feeling nauseous, and you may start developing sleep problems. All these negative effects just because we awfulize. 


How to stop awfulizing:

If you are someone who awfulizes, we understand that you are fully aware that the thoughts that are making your life miserable and difficult for no apparent reason are illogical. Many people who awfulize are aware of this fact. They know the thoughts that take such a huge toll on them do not make much sense. It’s just that they don’t know how to stop these thoughts.



The following steps can help you stop these illogical thoughts. It won’t happen in a day and it won’t happen in a week, but it can happen. The key is to keep moving forward. From time-to-time one may drift into awfulizing without even realizing it. One negative thought and you’ll find yourself creating a worst-case scenario. When this happens, the following steps will help you.



Take a deep breath: Stop and shift your focus on breathing. Deep breathing supplies more oxygen to our brain, which creates a calming effect.



Get a fresh perspective: Our minds can create hell for us by forcing us to see the worst-case scenarios. Sometimes we get so tangled in these scenarios that we get disconnected from reality. Talking to a trusted family member or friend can help you shift your focus and can provide you a fresh perspective on the situation.



Write down your thoughts: Maintaining a journal is an excellent way of keeping track of your thoughts. Jotting down your thoughts not only helps you realize their weight and impact, but it also gives you an opportunity to analyze them later and observe a pattern.



Apart from these steps, you can make changes to your lifestyle that can help you stop awfulizing.  One of the most crucial of these steps is to turn off the news. Many people turn on the news channel first thing in the morning. While there is nothing wrong with staying informed, it’s important to understand that the reports on violent incidents and loss of life can trigger thoughts and emotions that can send you into the awful zone. Turning off the news not only makes your mornings more peaceful and positive but also helps you overcome the triggering thoughts.


Meditating for 10-15 minutes in the morning can also help you overcome the destructive habit of awfulizing. Meditation limits the wandering of your mind and helps you stay in the present. It makes you calmer, equips you with patience, reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and makes you stronger from the inside.



Exercising or playing a sport can also help you in improving your focus, uplifting your mood, and improving your mental health overall.



So how did you stop awfulizing? How has overcoming awfulizing changed your life? Share your story with us in the Forums!



Our advice is for you to practice controlling your sick thought process for at least a week. Tell others around you to point out any event in which you thought the worst about something. Have them hold you accountable. Visit the Forum and do a CONFESSION.


What is a Confession? A Confession is when you’ve displayed a wrong behavior and were held accountable by one of your family members, peers, or even yourself. Visit the Forum and tell us about it. We will give you feedback! Make sure to watch the video about Confession for more details! Furthermore, become a member of the Forum and give feedback to others!



Read the article? Time for introspection!

Please answer the following:

  1. Do you also get anxious while thinking about the future? Why?
  2. How do you feel emotionally when you awfulize?
  3. How has awfulizing affected your life?
  4. What thoughts haunt you the most? Why do you think these thoughts have power over you?
  5. What steps are you taking to ditch this negative state?

The essay

Please write an essay, up to two pages, about a past experience you thought the worst. Tell us in detail, who, what, when, where, why, to whom, the place of what you did. The outcome! And tell us in detail how you could have changed that use from what you learned today so the outcome would have been good. Internalize this lesson. Make it become a part of you.




How to Stop Awfulizing Joan Sotkin TPS113



This module includes the following:

Jump to Module:  Module 1: “Attitudes.  Followed by, “Your Logical Thoughts”.  Then, “Your Unlawful Thoughts”.  Then, “How Well Do You Communicate”.  Then, “Drugs, Alcohol, and You”.  Then, “Your Uncontrolled Anger”.  Followed by, “Is Your Life in Balance”.  Finally, “Your Relationships”.

There is no way any relationship will survive without having the qualities mentioned above.

Make sure to read each article carefully at least three time. Print your workbook (will be available per lesson.)  Answer all questions and enter them in your workbook. Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate so long as you’ve been a member of the “Forums.”


Also, follow the instruction for sharing your story in our Forums as well as participating in our “Forums,” especially our unique “Confessions Forum” so you may gain practice, knowledge, experience, and expertise!


I am thankful that you have given me this opportunity to share all of this with you. May God bless you and bring prosperity and peace into your life.

Respectfully yours,

George Tannous, PhD

Please Join The Forums. Watch Video

This is Where Confessions, Attitude Checks, Accountability, Give and Receive Feedback Comes in. Practice for Your Own Practice!

Well, you might be asking yourself “How am I going to get practice for my practice?”  Great question and I thought you’ll never ask!  

#1 You are part of a group with the same interests.

#2  You have a question in regards to one of your clients and we are here to help you.

#3  Others have questions and you can give feedback and help them.

#4  You need to do a confession.

#5  And much more.

You Are Never Alone!  Join the Forums!

Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate.  Must participate in our Forums to get certified!  You’ll achieve your internship by joining and partcipating in our “Forums”.