Going down the slopes, loosing track of time, enjoying the feeling and all the hormones in my bloodstream: adrenaline, endorphine, dopamine, cortisol,…
I love this moment when you are floating between fear and excitement during an intense experience.
It is really interesting to reflect on the words we tell ourselves in that particular moment because it might be quite controversial. We have on one side our rational mind trying to protect us:
“Seriously, why would you take the risk to do that? What if you lose control, fall, hurt yourself, hurt someone else, break your leg, die, be vulnerable, ridiculous, rejected,..? That’s not safe! All of this for what? Fun? Challenge? Is it worth it?”
On the other side you have your excitement and thirst for adventure yelling:
“It’s awesome! You feel sooooo good! You can do this, it is so fulfilling! You can be proud, push yourself! Man, that’s having fun! You feel alive! You only live once and you better enjoy it!
The voice that will have the best sales pitch will win. But if the balance is not just right, you end up thinking “I should have…” or “I shouldn’t have…”. In either case, you have regrets.
How to live without regrets?
In general, our mind has a tendency to keep us safe and makes us avoid situations that are new and uncertain. We like predictability because it gives us a certain sense of control. But if we always try to stay safe, we leave no room for exploration, experiences and growth. If you never take any risk, you stay in your comfort zone. Sometimes we need to push ourselves, just a little bit, to discover new possibilities.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside of your comfort zone”
This is a famous quote and I couldn’t agree more with it but we also have to make sure we are not taking too big of a step at once.
The best way to keep challenging yourself without taking stupid risks is to follow your inner compass and find the exact balance between fear and excitement.
If something is too exciting, you are probably not challenging yourself enough. If something is too scary, maybe you are setting the bar too high. When you find the right mix, you know you are heading in the good direction.
This compass is a great tool to navigate through life and overcome your limits. When you are facing a situation that seems impossible, readjust to something that is more exciting and less scary and step by step, expand your comfort zone.
Our mind is crafting limits to protect us, to keep us safe. It is never necessary to take excessive risks, but it is always good to keep challenging yourself.
” If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are probably right”