Scary or Exciting (BOS 5.31.19)

Something different is on the horizon. Something new is coming. Is it scary or exciting?

How it feels might be one way or the other just because of the words we use to describe it.

But is it scary or exciting? It’s easy to say, “it depends,” because of course it depends. It depends on what’s happening and how soon, and if we knew about it coming, and if we feel prepared for it to happen, and whether it might have a negative impact on us or if it feels like an opportunity. It depends on whether we choose it for ourselves or it feels like it’s just happening to us. It depends on so many different factors, and each of those factors has its own pathway of impact and experience, that we can hardly calculate the possibilities. It’s almost overwhelming.

And when we get overwhelmed by the questions and the possible variety of ways something new or different–something challenging or with opportunity–we naturally, biologically lean toward seeing what’s scary about this newness. We are wired to anticipate the things that could go wrong or that could challenge our ability to manage the stress of change. This comes from our instinct for survival–which pays way more attention to things as threats and challenges, than to things as fun new opportunities. This happens simply because if we don’t, the threats might totally overwhelm us (or worst case scenario, kill us…), so the hard/challenging/threatening stuff just makes more noise in our brains so we can stay alive. The good stuff still matters, but to our survival instincts, it’s just less “important” for keeping us alive.

So our survival brains bias us to be scared before we’re excited.

But here’s the good news for all of us who want to take risks, to try new things, and to live life being wide open to new/different things because there really IS so much opportunity in doing that: when we detect something new/different in our lives, our bodies experience waves of adrenaline and cortisol that flood our systems –but our bodies cannot tell the difference between what’s truly scary and what’s exciting. Our minds tell the story that helps to interpret what the body feels, to decide whether it’s a good thing or a threatening thing. Obviously there are some super unquestionably threatening things–but most of the time we learn about new stuff, like “all of June is the Indiana Jones workout for Friday hills,” and we’re kinda like “oh nooooooo, that’s awful” or we think it’s too hard or that we just can’t do it. BUT we can choose to also look at that upcoming challenge that Capozzi and EmSauce threw out to us as an opportunity to get stronger, faster, and mentally tougher by doing that workout. All of a sudden something that might feel bad because it’s happening to you, becomes something that can feel empowering because we choose to rise to the challenge, rather than feel overwhelmed by it.

Life does that to us all the time. There are a ton of things that are out of our control and that might be really difficult to get through, but our mindset of seeing it as something to be excited about for what we will learn, how we will grow, and what we will discover about ourselves in the process, this is a powerful and important mindset to take on. Sure, it might be a little scary too, but usually perceiving things as scary means we stay in survival mode. And the alternative is to hype ourselves up so we can function in “bring it on” mode. And that is usually where we surprise ourselves by realizing how strong we are, how capable we are, how many internal resources we have, and how supportive the network and community around us really is.

Bottom line, most of the new and different stuff we experience comes with an amazing opportunity to choose whether we are scared about it or excited about it.

It’s really really hard to get excited when we feel down about ourselves, when the shit happening feels so unfair or just not right, or when it seems impossible that yet another thing has happened in a long string of hard shit. But this scary or exciting choice is still real. Every. Single. Time.

So next Friday, #IndianaJunes starts. You know it’s happening and you know this incredible community of other humans facing their own hard stuff in life are going to show up too. We’re all going to jump in, run down and up the hills, and see what we can learn about ourselves and how much we can surprise ourselves. It won’t be easy, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Let’s get freaking excited. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll make getting excited about the other hard stuff in life, just a little easier too.

Keep changing the world.

announcements

MONDAY WORKOUT on 6/3 at 6:29am will be outside the Gov’t Center T station at City Hall. Map right HERE.

YEARBOOK PHOTOS will be happening in June. Specific Wednesday TBD but stay tuned and maybe just plan to show up every single Wednesday, just in case.

DISCOUNT FOR KNOCKAROUNDS On June 1st and 2nd, using the code NPKNOCKS anyone can get a new pair (or 9000) of sunglasses for 35% off. It applies to your entire order but can only be used those two days. THIS weekend.  Your welcome!

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