What in the name of H E Double Hockey Sticks is Outcome Tolerance?
Let me share with you.
When things happen, there is an outcome. There is ALWAYS an outcome. To every action there is an outcome, which by the way is the next action. It’s life’s little sequence. When I am late for work, the outcomes include many of the following and even more, I am sure, that you can imagine:
Escalating Anxiety – Occurring IN THE MOMENT
Road Rage – As a Result of the Escalating anxiety.
Rehearsal of Why I Am Late Speech – Problem Solving and Attempts to Cope
Avoiding a Mad Boss, and/or
Walk of Shame Infront of Co-Workers Who Arrived on Time.
Outcomes are the narratives of what has happened and why and can be present and/or future focused. When we first create the outcome narrative, we have an emotional and then behavioral reactions to the action that triggered the cognitive process in the first place. So, when I realize I am late for work, my mind goes to work. Creating what if scenarios which drive emotional and behavioral responses. The outcome of being late are narratives that are in the future….mad boss, glaring co-workers, rehearsal of speeches.
Sometimes the outcome narratives are in the moment. When I break a beloved possession because I am trying to carry too much stuff at once, I evaluate that I am a dork, inept, incapable, lazy and so on. That cognitive process driving an outcome narrative is real time. Drives powerful emotions and those emotions are expressed through dramatic behaviors.
Outcomes are stories that impact our ability to emotionally and behaviorally regulate and manage our daily lives when the Bullshit of Life strikes.
Our ability to tolerate, accept, manage and appropriately use “outcomes” is the difference between having mental wellness or not. We use our psychological fitness skills to tolerate life’s bumps in the road. We use our psychological fitness skills to accept he bullshit of life moments and move beyond these moments to the next moments life has to offer and learn something. Outcomes are learning opportunities.
Our inability to tolerate outcomes leaves us stagnate, isolated, angry, depressed and fearful. Our inability to accept and manage outcomes leads to a terrible existence and experience with life.
Learning to tolerate being late, forgetting to get milk at the store, missing a coffee date or what ever is a foundational key for mental wellness.