Just because it’s scary …

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A couple of weeks ago, the springlike temperatures we have been enjoying plummeted back to about -12 C, and a nasty wind sprang up. I looked out my kitchen window at the swaying trees, listened to the howl, and debated whether to run outside or go and run on my basement treadmill, as I had when it was -35 C. I even asked my social media friends what they recommended. Amusingly, locals told me to go out and run outside, while people from warm climates voted for the basement. It’s all in the perception, right?

Eventually, I pulled up my big-kid panties, put on my warm coat and scarf and went outside. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it would be, especially since I had thought nothing of running in -20 C during the actual winter. By the time I got home, I was carrying both the coat and the scarf, and I couldn’t help laughing at my little whine-fest earlier in the morning.

My friend Jeanie, who is also a life coach, pointed out to me that there was a lesson to be learned here. How many times do we look at something, decide it’s too scary, and then don’t even try? Or maybe, like me, we decide to be brave and do it anyway, and it turns out to be nowhere near as bad as we thought. I’m sure that has happened to you many times, as it has to me.

I find this is particularly true when heading to the dentist or preparing to undergo a medical procedure, or any other situation where discomfort is likely or even just possible. The anticipation is almost always the worst part. Why do our brains insist on imagining the worst when it’s not likely to happen, and usually doesn’t? I suppose this tendency was helpful when we needed to look out for sabre-tooth tigers, but now — not so much. It’s important to remember that our brains like to do this, so we can push past the fear when it’s really not justified.

Anyway, this was a good reminder for me, and I hope it is for you as well. Just because something looks scary at first sight, that’s not a reason not to do it. You will often find that courage pays off.

I’d love to know what your experience has been in pushing through fear and finding there’s nothing terrible on the other side.

Hadass Eviatar

Hadass Eviatar
West Kildonan community correspondent

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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