Best Case Scenario Me

You guys? If I’m going to be painfully cliched, 2009 was a roller coaster of a year for me. There were ups, there were downs, my gum fell out of my mouth, got stuck in my hair and I made a weird face when we went by that camera. And while I really, really try to rise to the occasion in tough situations, there are plenty of times when my coping technique goes something like this:1) Freak the eff out
2) Say things like “Eff me? Double Eff you!”
3) Kick the dead horse
4) Poke the dead horse with a stick
5) Kick the dead horse some more
6) Eat carbs and cheese in all their varying and delicious formsBut after all that fussing and cheese-eating, I’m usually left bloated and disappointed in myself. Once I calm down, I try to use one of my favorite psychological tricks:

What would Best Case Scenario Me Do?

(Or WWBCSMD if you want a super catchy acronym.)

Who’s Best Case Scenario Me? She’s the version of me when I’m in top form, firing on all cylinders, making choices that I’m proud of. She doesn’t put up with that hot but shitty British boytoy, she doesn’t lay on the couch shaking Bacos into her mouth on a Friday night and she doesn’t sit idly by when people sprinkle their conversations with the word ‘retard.’ She’s who I am on occasion, and would like to be more often.

I really like this strategy. Instead of wondering how my mum/Madonna/Virgina Woolf would with deal with something, I try to think of a reaction that within my own lexicon. Sometimes it’s helpful to think about how people we admire would handle things, yes. But I think that can also take the focus away from the unique strategies that we surely have inside ourselves.

And any given situation can be dealt with any number of ways. What would Oprah do if she was moved by the plight of stray dogs come winter? Probably adopt the whole pound and give each dog a gold dog mansion. BCSM would volunteer at the pound … and knit tiny dog sweaters. If some Lothario harassed Madonna on the street, she’d probably wring his neck with her giant biceps. BCSM would narrow her eyes, sigh and say “Don’t do that, buddy.” I’ll never be able to channel these amazing women that I am not, but I can channel the me that I someday hope to be.

This mind game is also helpful because it forces me to think about the person I want to become and distance between her and who I am now. BCSM is a bit more active, a lot more patient, procrastinates less, is more tolerant in some areas of her life … and less tolerant in others. But she’s not so far from Sarah Von version 1.0. This gives me hope that I can get there someday and also reassures me that the version of myself that I am now isn’t too bad.

What is your Best Case Scenario Me like?

Like what you see? Do you digg it? Think it’s delicious? Is it worth stumbling upon?

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  1. Gene

    I like this a lot. I heard someone say that your life is what you do every day. If you want to change your life, change the things that you do every day.

  2. Cristina

    I rarely comment on blogs, I've been reading yours for not so long, but I already love it… and this post is so brilliant!
    I have an ideal better me, thanx for reminding me, now that times are getting tough!

    And good everything for your 2010!

  3. Lady Smaggle

    Best case scenario Lady Smaggle gets everything done. She eats salad for lunch, calls her mother, exercises, cooks a healthy dinner, writes witty and intelligent blog posts and has time to paint her nails.

    The actually Lady Smaggle does this about a once a year. But its always a great day…

  4. Sapphire

    My Beloved has 'worst case scenario' as his default …. I always retaliate with 'best case scenario' in hopes that on3day he will abandon 'worst case' and adopt 'best case' …… so far, it's not taking too well.

    In the mean time – thanks for the reminder – I have a 'best case me' and she is pretty amazing.

  5. Lindiz

    BCSM would be more addicted to excercising than sugar, she finishes her knitting/art/etc. projects right away instead of leaving them hanging around, she smiles more and she won't just keep things inside her but shares them with close ones, good or bad.

  6. MP

    Hmm, BCSM is slightly OCD when it comes to clutter and cleaning; thus her house is always clean. She has infinite amounts of patience and never forgets to put on her deodorant. She's the one who volunteers part-time and goes to school to get her Master's, all while taking care of her little lady and keeping house. She's pretty awesome; and I'm glad to know that she's a part of me…somewhere.

  7. Tessica

    my bcsm doesn't mind when the five year old girlie climbs in my bed at 5am and doesn't get upset when my hubby doesn't do the laundry like he pinkie promised he would!

  8. Sarah Von Bargen

    Ohhh, he pinkie promised? And then didn't deliver?! You're a calmer woman than I, Tessica. I'd be all "BUT YOU PROOOOMMMMISSSSED!"

  9. Caitlin

    Great Thought! I like it.
    BCSM isn't a doormat or a pushover and doesn't apologize for what she thinks is right. Also she is a positive thinker and is kind to all those who deserve kindness.

  10. Cathy

    My BCSM would be so much calmer and not yell at my teenagers when they decide to go sledding in the front yard at 4 am and bake pizza rolls and whip cocoa and (just add anything and I mean anything here). MY BCSM needs to go with the flow just a bit more.

  11. Francine

    I've actually been trying to tone down the behavior. BCSM would be the one wringing someone's neck, and I've been trying to move away from that, haha.

  12. JO

    I'm on a quest to channel my BCSM this year! She stays on top of things and doesn't cling to stress. She takes adequate time for herself to read, create, explore, and just sit and stare. She doesn't let other people's minor issues become her own major issues.

    I'm doing my first blog giveaway this week if you're interested! I've never done one before and I'm partnering with a company–guess we'll see how it goes!


  13. Darcie

    BCSDarcie has a brain that more often than not is blissed out, tolerant and groovier. She only wants to eat good-for-you-food and exercises every day. Her first reactions are more introspective and less reactive.

  14. Kate

    BCSM is a regular at the gym and actually works hard at it when she is there. She forgiving, but refuses to support the haters by remaining silent. She isn't phased by her unpleasant coworkers and practices her Minnesota nice attitude while driving. She writes in her gratitude journal every night to remind her why life is so awesome and she spends plenty of time with her amazing friends. Oh, and she also drinks lots of water, gets her 8 hours a night, and always takes her vitamins 🙂

  15. Erin

    Best Case Scenario Erin doesn't eat meat whose origins are unknown, stays patient and understanding but isn't afraid to be assertive, and never wishes time away. For starters.

  16. brookem

    oh i like this BCSM talk! i like looking at it that way rather than asking myself what say, carrie bradshaw would do, who let's face it, didn't always do the right thing, but sure had a lot of fun doing it.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  17. The Naked Redhead

    Puh-REACH, sister! I'm finding that the more you channel BCSM, the more she comes out to play when you need her. For instance, my best friend and I are super protective of each other when we go out…especially when it comes to inappropriate males. We do this because we care about each other and because it's the Right Thing to Do. But this super-protective, Right-Thing-to-Do me is coming out more and more even when my BFF isn't around. I've found myself being braver about how I expect both myself and my other friends to be treated both in "night out" and "real life" situations.

    BCSM demands better for me. I like her a lot.

  18. {Tara}

    Love this post~ Best case scenario Tara does not throw a mini-tantrum when things do not go her way or when she does not have complete control over a situation. BCST is obviously not a control freak!

  19. penn

    BCSM is hard! I did have a British boytoy that I dumped . . . while crying and shaking as I composed the email (if he asks you out and makes plans via emails, you get to dump him the same way, right?).

    BCSM doesn't get mad about being unemployed and depressed. Instead, she shakes her groove thang, finds ways to make some cash, and appreciates her boyfriend for being her safety net. She doesn't get upset at extended family gatherings; she acknowledges that her family's way of showing affection isn't her favorite way and moves on with life. Best of all, BCSM works out to relieve stress instead of eating.

    all things I'm working on. It's a process 🙂

  20. Drummbellina

    Years ago I used to pretend the inner best-possible-version-of-myself was called "Jessica" and in situations where I felt nervous I'd say to myself "OK, now you're Jessica" and sort of slip into that confident mindset… Sounds a bit wacky but it worked! Now I've had a daughter and called her that name so I don't do it anymore but I do sort of imagine a wave of confidence washing over me and go with it.

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  22. Melissa Greene, LPC-MHSP

    Thank you for this really special blog post! I needed that. My BCSM is clever, funny, and knows how to get what she wants. I'm also really proud that I have a BCSM who can remain peaceful and calm when things don't go her way, all while remaining mature and respectful of others. Yes, that's actually in me somewhere!

  23. mademoiselleglitter

    wow, this is a great idea! i actually read something similar in some random self-help-book, but i like your approach much better, & the name best case scenario me sticks!

  24. The Maiden Metallurgist

    My entire adult life has been constructed around being the best case scenario me- and I have to say- fake it 'till you make it. I did, and before you know it all those things become habit, and then they just become who you are. You go girl!

  25. lo

    This is pretty great & I really appreciate this. BCSM always has my best interests in mind & thus flosses everyday & never falls asleep with make up on. But she is also super compassionate & realizes that falling asleep with make up on sometimes is ok. 🙂

  26. Erin

    LOVE this post. I really need to take some time to think about what my BCSM would do in any given situation… I'll get back to you!

  27. Salomé

    Thank you for this post. Really got me thinking about BCSS. I guess she's the one that finally gets the to-do list done and can actually find the to-do list without removing most items from her bag.

    Keep it up! You're an inspiration to many. See you soon.

  28. Midge

    This was just what I needed this morning. Setting yourself up to be someone your not leads to setting yourself up for failure, I'm striving to be the best me that I can!

  29. cuileann

    BCSM is a nut. She rocks the boat and throws things and screams and cries without shame and loves in unexpected ways and knows how to listen but also refuses to be shut up. She wears a crown when her hair is dirty and invites strangers on adventures. She knows nothing is ever stuck a certain way.

  30. mnvang

    If we could vote how great your posts are you'd get all five stars, all the time! I love this post. It's true! We get so caught up in what other people will do or think that we forget about what we would like to do and what we think of ourselves. 😀

  31. ambika

    Oh man, I am so guilty of poking that dead horse. So guilty. I'm getting better but it's tough sometimes.

  32. erica

    BCSM is definitely the best you would ever meet….I can toot my own horn, right?…….she would have a super duper clean house, homemade meals every night, & a happy baby, all while wearing something fierce!!

  33. Bebo

    I'm so glad I found your blog — great post!

  34. Meri

    Love love love this idea. Most of the time I'm more of a worst case scenario person, but I'm wanting to change my way of thinking. And this is a great start. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  35. pOli

    Hi! i recently found your blog and i really love it! you really are such an inspiration!

    And this post is amazing! thnks for the idea! perfect for a new start! 😀

  36.  ALH

    Hey! I've recently started to follow your blog and LOVE it.

    BCSM would:
    -not sleep in until after 12PM just because I'm on break.
    -not stay up until the morning light for no reason
    -would be actively going on fun social events instead of choosing to be a brooding reclusive writer-y version of myself
    -would have already started looking for jobs instead of procrastinating until the last possible moment.
    -would not have eaten a quesadilla for every single meal in the past couple of days because it requires no effort.
    -would stop taking tequila shots and singing karaoke embarrassingly (the two go hand in hand you see)
    -would not be a total mess most of the time in general

    Hope you and I both find our inner BCSM's for the new year!

  37. colleen e

    BCSC would be productive (thats what this college nonsense is about, kind of?) but would also make enough time for herself. shed eat well, enjoy exercising, and learn to let things roll of her shoulders. shed take up a cause and work diligently for it. shed travel to one corner of the globe then work her way back to the other, stopping at home for a quick snack/shower/something. she'd be a world renown budget shopper and learn to save enough money to not stress everyday. BCSC would walk with her head high, no matter how awkward her just-washed jeans fit that day and make sure every day had a purpose.

    im working on it.

  38. Amy --- Just A Titch

    My best-case scenario me is sweet, assertive and on her game. I'm a teacher, and best-case scenario me has her lessons plan, treats each day with a sense of humor and flexibility. Best-case scenario me plans healthy meals and exercises. She cleans up after herself in small bits instead of letting the apartment go to hell in a handbasket. Instead of dozing off to a Jersey Shore repeat, she reads, crafts or writes.

    I love this, seriously. You're so talented!

  39. Alison

    I love your blogs! Well done! 🙂

  40. miss morgan potts

    This is fantastic! I think I will blog about my own BCSMorgan!

  41. somewhere else

    My BCSM is the person I am in my head, when I'm alone. I'm slowly realising that this person and the person I act like, especially around certain people, are different!

    I could say that the inside me is the 'real' me, but ultimately you're not what you think, but what you do..

    SO this year, BCSM will not scream silently inside when I just don't care about what they're saying. I won't let people talk over me. I'll jump on people more. Literally, not figuratively, literally jump on people.
    And I'll do what I want to do, what I think they want me to do or what I think they think I want to do.

    By the way, you're comment about people using the word 'retard' really hit home- I hate it when Christians I know use 'gay' as a derogatory word, but I use retard alot and I've just realised this probably offends alot of people in the same manner. Moron it is.

  42. Unicorns For Socialism

    Ooh, I like this exercise!

    BCSM feels comfortable flirting with people, and isn’t shocked to the core (or deeply suspicious) when they flirt back.

    BCSM never, ever refers to things / people / places as “gay” or “retarded” – unless they are literally homosexual or mentally-challenged.

    BCSM finds ways to enliven less-than-stimulating work assignments.

    BCSM doesn’t just e-mail faraway friends in faraway lands – she gets on a plane and visits them!

  43. Luinae

    BCSM me is amazing, rocks everything out, and is working to make friends. She is super productive and stays calm in situations instead of spazzing. BCSM doesn't procrastinate!

  44. Jen

    I've been reading awhile without commenting. It's not creepy at all. Anyway, I love your blog, and I'm especially inspired by this entry!

  45. Lorra

    Fantastic post. This is my first comment.

    Best Case Scenario Me is unrelentingly brave, takes-absolutely-no-shit, but is also extremely compassionate and kind about it (unless provoked by someone unknown or uncared-for to begin with), healthy-focused, creative beyond imagination, fiery, strong, passionate, and ecstatic.

  46. Carrie

    I needed this today. Wow! I REALLY needed this today.

  47. dorkvader

    I am so stealing this and blogging about it!!!!!!!!

  48. Angelica

    Great article! I needed this considering today was not my BCSM!
    but my BCSM would be someone who is:

    1. Proactive and takes initiate
    2. focuses and works on bettering herself through nutrition, fitness, and reading -rather than worrying about what's going wrong & whining!

    3. lets go and moves on and see's the good lesson in any situation.

  49. Melissa

    Fantastic! My Best Case Scenario Me has a witty quip everytime someone says something stupid – blatantly stupid. BCSM is zany in a classy way… she's sassy yet classy.

  50. Jennifer

    Best case scenario me is level-headed and a bit more outgoing… Whereas I'm just a hothead. 😐

  51. Hope

    This sounds very self-centered and egotistical, but the older I've gotten, the more my BCSM is me. I don't want to be the 'perfect' anything, I'm not worried about reaching anyone else's standards, I'm okay with how I look, how I dress, my extra 30 lbs. I'm a happy, cheerful and content woman who is doing things the way I am happy doing them. It's all about living 'in the moment' and NOT trying to make it something else.

    Again, this may only work when you get to my age (I'm 54), but I really wish I had felt this way when I was in my 20's – would have saved myself a lot of pain and worry.

  52. Sara

    I actually had a little ponder on this topic myself recently on my blog


    (and you commented on it, which was so nice of you!). I've found it helpful to think of a few words that I hope my loved ones would be able to use when they're describing me, then to let those words guide the formation of the Best Case Scenario Me. The words I've settled on are Kind, Strong, and Genuine. Simple, yeah, but tough to attain!

    I love that you drew a clear dividing line between trying to act like some other awesome person (Oprah, Madonna) and trying to act like YOURSELF. Very important distinction there. Kudos.

  53. Ani

    Hi Sarah, I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm finding it a great alternative to style blog after style blog after style blog. Not that those blogs aren't interesting in their own way; it's just nice to get some female-written reading that's not about fashion.

    BCSM gets up at the same time every day (early!), is consistently focused and motivated, always has a great project to work on and is consistently considerate of others. Hopefully in 2010 she'll emerge fully, rather than only showcasing fragments of herself.

  54. eliza

    I LOVE the concept of BCSM!!!

    Sarah, you have really and truly inspired me, and even changed my life a bit over the last half year.

    Thank you for that…

    Love, Eliza

  55. earthglow

    I absolutely love this. I'm adopting it. Best Case Scenario Me is one day going to become just plain old me. And then I'll have to do it again!

    I also wanted to say that I love your blog more and more. I can't remember anymore how I found you (through Gala Darling perhaps? Or was it the other way around?) but you're an inspiration. Really, I've been changing my life (one small step at a time) with the help of your blog. The post you put up awhile back about loving your job even though it's normal to say "Ugh, I hate my job" was like a light bulb for me. Why do you have to hate your job? Wouldn't your life be better if you just admitted to enjoying your work? And that happens to me all the time reading your posts!

    I'm currently working on a 30 Before 30 list, even though I've got more than 5 years to complete it. It's the best idea. Sorry for all the gushing, I've been feeling really appreciative today and had to just let it out. So, thank you for being inspirational. Thank you.

  56. Michelle

    You are an inspirational genius and I'm going to keep this in mind from now on.

  57. akaveronica

    My BCSM remembers to breathe instead of running around like a chicken with its' head cut off when things get stressful and hectic. My BCSM is brave enough to ste outside her comfort zone and act on her good intentions. My BCSM stops a dumb argument with her husband instead of inflaming it further, then makes a silly joke & initiates a good make-up session.

    I have a BCSM-type strategy for when I'm home alone with my kids & my patience has run out. I imagine that another parent is watching me. I am a much better mom when I have an imaginary judgmental audience to please.

  58. Heidi Rose

    This is one fantastic post. It's like we were riding on a train, in different cars, and as we both got up to switch cars, we ended up in the same one. A different kind of "being on the same wavelength/page" scenario.

    Because just a few days ago I came up with the same idea. I asked myself, "What would Balanced Heidi do?" That's what I'm aiming for; having all the different parts of my life in balance.

    Here I'll think about it in a different "Best Case Scenario" way. BCSM sits and waits less, does more, helps more, gives into temptation less (I'm thinking 2nd helpings here), and is on top of her work rather than beside it.

  59. Sarah

    I seriously feel like you're in my head – yout ability to put your thoughts on paper (electronic paper) is amazing and make me feel so much more normal and close to realizing the person I want to be.

  60. juliannelefay

    I love this concept. It makes so much more sense than WW?D for every day purposes, because there are going to be things about us that clash with the way other people would handle things.

    I'll still occasionally think "What Would Somebody Else Do?" when getting dressed though 🙂

  61. Katie

    I just discovered your blog and I love it. I just got done reading your How to Create An Amazing Group of Friends and I wanted tell you, "You're awesome. We're going to friends now, I hope you know." 😉 And about this post, this is one of our favorite campfire questions with our friends…we try to come up with when we feel like the best versions of ourselves, i.e. Campfire Katie, Last Call Steve.

    I'll be reading from now on. Thanks!

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