Go do something scary
Last week, I was preparing my notes for the improv workshop that I was about to teach. It was happening the next day, and I just added several brand new exercises to my lesson plan. Just as I finished up and printed it out, I was struck by a little pang of fear. I had been pretty calm about the workshop, feeling confident and at ease. Then once I had my plan in my hands, it suddenly became a bit more real. And there I was feeling that old familiar (and annoying) feeling of nervousness. I told my wife, Jerilyn, that I was feeling nervous about tomorrow’s workshop.
What she said shocked me. She said, “Good.”
“What? How is feeling afraid good? Have you gone bonkers?”
Then she says to me, she says, “If you are afraid that means that you are about to do something really cool. You are going out of your comfort zone and don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s going to be something new.”
And you know what? She was right. I tried out my new stuff, and it went really well. And afterwards I felt good. Really good. In fact, I noticed that I felt rather relaxed.
I did the scary thing. Nobody died. Hooray!
Doing something out of the ol’ comfort zone can be bit scary. But then when it’s done, it’s “Welcome to Rancho Relaxo”.
Now I’m thinking, if we do something scary on a regular basis, are we actually programming our brains to cope with fear better? Remember when you learned to drive? Kinda nervous. Now? Not so much.
So there you go. Go do a scary thing, and afterwards you’ll feel relaxed.
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