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making choices about where to challenge ourselves

Posted Feb 10 2012 6:38pm

When should you push yourself to do something?

Figuring that out is not always clear-cut!

Sometimes it's a good idea to challenge yourself to take on something, while other times it may not be.

Sometimes it's a matter of How much do you want to take on the thing vs How frightened of taking it on are you? And then you've got to think about: How important is it to me to take this on, even if I'm hesitant and frightened?

For example: I think the idea of sky-diving is amazing. I mean, how cool would that be to cascade through the air and then pull out the parachute and drift over the landscape?? However, while the idea of it sounds just breathtaking to me... it also takes my breath away to think about it!!! The idea of cascading through the air, and then being 100% reliant upon a sheath of cloth popping out of a little bag tied to my back sounds...well, count me out. How beautiful the view might be is far outweighed by my abject terror of free-falling (this is why I avoid the Drop Zone and other free-fall rides also- I totally HATE that free-fall feeling! Hate it.)

Now, while some who love sky-diving may say that I'm missing out (and I am in some ways), sky-diving is simply not that important to me. So, skipping it is totally no big deal. In fact, I never think twice about it.

But if it were public speaking that I was terrified of... well, then, I'd be looking for a way to challenge myself and help myself out with that- because speaking in public is something that's WAY important to me.

So, SuperEgg, one of the first things you get to decide is: how important is it to you to go with your daughter to the dentist? If it's not so important, maybe leave it to your husband. If it turns out that at some point it is important to you, you may want to work to challenge yourself to go.

IF you decide to go, I suggest not being black and white about it. It's not ALL or NOTHING (as usual, I'm sure y'all are shocked by this :)

For instance: the first time you go, you and the husband could take two cars. That way you'd have total freedom to leave any time you want/need to. And the first time you go you could plan to go just to the parking lot, or to the waiting room. Maybe the second time you go you'd take one step into the exam room then leave- either to the waiting room, or out to your car, or home (since you could have two cars the second time too.... and the 3rd... and the 14th if you want).

Try to plan this out so it feels stable and predictable. You can also drive by the dentist's office when you guys don't even have an appointment. Heck, you can even trot right in and say hi if you want. Do whatever is helpful to make the process feel step-wise. Challenging is fine; overwhelming yourself isn't helpful.

When we feel like we're in charge of a process we tend to be much less freaked out by it. And because we're less freaked out, we're less anxious- which makes things less scary!

Be patient with the process, SuperEgg. It sounds like the dentist is frightening for you- and you need to respect that and work with it gradually and thoughtfully. Make sure you ask questions, get help, talk as much as you want to about it... all that good stuff.

For sure, though, if you want to take your daughter to the dentist, girl, you will find a way to make that happen. Don't try it alone (in fact, don't try life alone- hey, that's a great Bumper Sticker!). Try it with a pal :) Or with a bunch of pals.

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