Excitement and fear produce the same physiological response in the body. So how do I determine if I am excited or scared? We will choose to feel excitement if we can predict the outcome. If I know that when I get on the roller coaster that eventually I will return safely to the platform, then I may feel excitement.
It is often when I am doing something that I have never done before (and therefore not sure of the expected outcome) that I feel fear and anxiety.
An amazing group of individuals in my last workshop (the Advancement of Excellence) decided to take on the Grouse Grind during the program. Many of those who participated had never accomplished this difficult hike before. There was tremendous support for each other, and no one was left behind.
I have heard people say that they will do “x” once they have the confidence and are ready to do it. The problem is that confidence comes from action, from doing. I can’t have confidence in something until I have actually done it. I am sure that if some of them had waited to hike the Grind until they felt “ready to do it”, that they would still be waiting.
I am incredibly proud of their accomplishment, and what I am more astonished by is what has happened since. Over half of them have returned to do it again, to beat their time, and some have done it multiple times! Once they knew the expected outcome (that they would finish) they had the confidence to do it again, to push their comfort zone and self-limitations even further.
It was because of this example of courageous individuals that I was inspired to take on the Great GG myself. I have lived in the Lower Mainland my entire life, and I had always been scared of the hike, thinking it was too tough, that it was only for people in great shape. I decided to take on the principle of expected outcome. I was nervous the day before, and I chose to believe that no matter what, I would complete the hike. This really changed things for me. Was it tough? Absolutely. Did I have a few choice words along the way? For sure. Did I ever think of turning around? No.
So what would you do if you made the decision to take action and predict the outcome?
Christina Bianchini is a Registered Professional Counsellor and workshop facilitator.