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29 April 2018

why we need to do things that scare us.

This year we started flat cooking. 

When our fourth housemate moved in it didn’t make sense anymore to be fighting over the kitchen space every shared mealtime, three dinners sizzling on four hobs with eight elbows knocking together. And so, we thought up a rota and introduced a new ritual, which was great – except for the fact that the idea of cooking for lots of people terrified me. 

I reasoned this fear probably had roots in my nervous disposition; it definitely was a by-product of previous terrible experiences. But it was something I needed to get over, and I did. I cooked one meal for my flatmates, it went alright. I cooked another meal for my flatmates, it was more successful. Gradually the overwhelming feeling of adrenaline calmed to a sense of mild discomfort,  and now I don’t mind. In fact I quite enjoy it. 

Everyone has their own hurdle, their own Everest in their everyday. I know friends that are fearful of calling people, others that want to join groups but are too scared of going solo. 

I know that our anxieties can play a huge hand in this (guh). I’m aware that I’m often halted from doing things, or going places, or seeing people, or writing on this blog because of an underlying feeling of unexplained panic. 

There's also the element of being tired that might make us not seek out what scares us. We're all exhausted, aren't we? At the end of a working day sometimes all we want to do is nuzzle into the well-known. Say, the mind-numbing of a Netflix series. 

But we can’t let that stop us. We need to do these new, scary, exciting things. We need to push ourselves. Because once we’ve done the thing that scares us – the one we’ve put off for forever – how exhilarated we feel. Triumph is a sweet cookie to nibble on. 

Moreover, how small other mountains look from the peak of the highest point.

If we take ownership of our fear, accept our fear, understand our fear, be kind to ourselves about our fear, and the fact that it’s just that, fear – a physical and psychological manifestation of non-threatening circumstances that we’ve somehow allowed to bloat beyond proportion – we can become seriously empowered. Or you know, over the moon to make average dishes for friends.



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