I say this to myself a lot.
I especially say this to myself when things get hectic. For example, when I think about the progress I have made on my dissertation and research, I think it could get worse. Here I am in mid-November and I am still polishing the first chapter (Introduction) while diving into the second chapter (literature review).
And, I wonder how I am going to finish by May. So, ya...
It probably could get worse
Is it a pessimistic perspective? Perhaps.
Is it a coping mechanism? Maybe.
Is it a declarative statement that always holds true? Not necessarily.
Maybe it is simply a reminder that things could go the other way, too. It probably could get better.