When You’re Dreading ItSep 14, 2023
What if the thing you’re dreading is actually the key to getting more of the things that you want? I’ve been thinking and learning a lot about the feeling of dread as I’ve continued to reflect on my recent SwimRun experience.
I realized that by far the number one emotion I felt throughout the months of training and preparation leading up to this event, as well as on the day of the event itself, was dread.
My brain knew that the training and event were going to be hard and they were going to hurt. But looking back, the majority of the pain and struggle I felt was mental (not physical, as I expected). I experienced far more dread of pain than the actual physical experience of pain.
Today on the podcast, I’m deconstructing dread and giving you the tools you need when this feeling pops up in your life. Because everything you really want is just on the other side of your brain’s dread…and you never have to let it stop you from creating the life you want.
Why Do We Dread Things?
Your brain is always trying to do three things: Seek pleasure, avoid discomfort and conserve energy. The problem is that many things in our life require discomfort and energy. Since your brain’s job is to avoid these things, it uses dread as a tool to get you to avoid them, too.
Dread is suffering that your brain creates in advance. It’s the pain we feel because our brain is scared and trying to avoid a possibly painful experience ahead of us. We haven't come to the physical pain yet. Our body is not being stressed yet. But we're feeling all kinds of feelings ahead of time.
Dread can be such an intense emotion that when we feel it, it can be easy to make excuses for ourselves and talk ourselves out of doing things. Dread is one of the things that keeps us from showing up in our lives the way we really want to.
You’ll never completely eliminate dread (it’s a normal function of the brain), but more awareness can help you reduce it and its power over your decisions.
Don’t Let Dread Keep You From the Life You Want
Left unexamined and unchecked, dread will create a life on default, where you talk about things but never do them, wish things were different but never actually change them.
I believe that reducing dread and learning tools to deal with it will significantly impact your life experience. It’s also going to reduce the total amount of pain you feel in your life because so much of our pain is in the anticipation.
We can’t stop our brain from jumping in and trying to stop us from doing new or uncomfortable things, but we can learn to pause and decide what choice we will make and what we will tell ourselves in order to move forward.
Here are some useful strategies to try when you encounter dread in your life.
Get out of your head…and into your body
When we're experiencing dread, our brain gives us all kinds of thoughts about how hard this is going to be, how scary it's going to be or how we don't want to do it. So then we try to talk ourselves out of the things we’ve decided to do.
It can be so much more helpful to drop into your body and look for what is hurting. Often, if you scan your body, you’ll find that you’re not actually in pain. You’re having an emotion.
So where is that feeling? Locate it in your body and describe it to yourself. Is it tightness in your chest? Anxious energy deep in your belly? Check in and feel that energy, noticing that it is a vibration but not actual pain.
Ask yourself, “Where am I?” Are you in the past, present or future? Most of our mental and emotional pain is created when we are outside of the present moment - regretting the past or dreading the future.
Find your breath and bring yourself into your senses. Notice what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste. In this present moment, you are okay.
If your brain won’t let the future go, run a worst case scenario. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you go do this thing? If that happens, how will you feel? The dread you’re feeling might just be because your brain wants to avoid feelings like disappointment, discouragement and shame.
Remind yourself that if the moment comes to feel disappointed or discouraged or shamed, you will feel it then. But you don’t need to feel dread now.
Allow and welcome pain
Some things (like an endurance event) are supposed to hurt. But even here, you can choose to feel just the pain instead of the dread and the pain.
I find it helpful to remind myself that it’s supposed to be hard. I need it to hurt so that my body can adapt and get stronger. It’s a completely different experience to move toward and allow the pain, rather than try to resist and avoid it.
Eliminate negotiation points
When your brain offers you dread, it’s trying to get out of whatever you’re asking it to do. This negotiation needs to be as short as possible. The longer you negotiate with your brain, the longer you’ll feel that dread.
Resistance to the thing you’re trying to do is always highest at the beginning. It’s a result of your body’s hormones and the fight or flight response. It’s a totally normal process when you’re in the early stages of doing something hard.
You can reduce the amount of suffering you have by forcing yourself past the dread into the activity itself, get through the beginning and to the other side.
For example, no matter how much running I did, the first 10 minutes were always the hardest. So I started to tell myself that I only had to run for 10 minutes. By the time I got through it, I was ready to keep going.
Practice radical self-love
When my brain was scared and didn’t want to do the thing, I found it so useful to just be really loving and kind with myself. Talking to myself and saying, “Of course you’re scared. I know you don’t want to do it, but I’m going to go with you and I’m so proud of you.”
It's so powerful to have compassion and understanding for what's really happening in your brain. You don’t need to be mad at yourself or at war with yourself. Your brain is doing its job, and you just have to manage it.
Have your own back, be your own cheerleader.
When we feel dread, I think one of the hardest parts about it is feeling like you are alone. So it’s helpful to request the help of Heaven, because whatever it is that you’ve decided to do, if it’s something you really want, Heaven wants it for you, too.
Even as Christ went to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, he felt dread and he prayed for help.
We can get better at managing our minds, but Heaven is also there when we need a little more help.
What if the deciding factor in greatness is your ability to manage dread? What if all that's between you and creating the life you want is just a feeling?
Just because your brain doesn’t want it doesn’t mean you don't want it. Don't get confused about that. Everything you really want is just on the other side of your brain’s dread.
The feeling is real AND you have the tools to handle it and move forward.
- Where dread comes from
- Why your priorities and your brain’s don’t always match up
- Why imagining the worst case scenario can actually help reduce dread
- Why buffering and avoiding only extends your pain
Welcome to the 100% Awesome podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thoughts you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.
Hello Podcast Universe. Welcome to episode 228 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. I'm April Price and I am your host today. How are you? I have got a great episode for you today, one that I actually think will make a really big impact on your life. And so I am really excited to be here with you. If you listen to last week's episode, you heard me and my son Caleb talking about some of the biggest lessons that we learned. And this is kind of the leftovers of that lesson. Like as we talked and as I listened to that conversation, it felt like there was like one more thing that I really wanted to emphasize and really wanted to say and spend some time on before I move on from this event. And I sort of like mentioned it in passing, but actually in the days and hours since then and since our conversation, I have spent a lot of time really thinking and reflecting about this element of the whole swim run experience.
And I really want to kind of separate this out and spend some time sharing my experience because I think there's a lot here for all of us to learn. And what I want to talk to you about is the feeling of dread. And like right off the bat already you might be saying like UGG, right? Like you might be dreading this conversation about dread, right? Like maybe you woke up this morning and tuned in today because you wanted some motivation and some encouragement and some fun only to like open up your podcast app and find out that I'm talking about dread.
Right? And maybe you're maybe your heart just like sunk, right? And that might not sound like a very fun or exciting topic, but I actually think it's super useful to look at and super useful to gain some awareness about the dread that we feel, because the more that I've thought about it and the more that, you know, I've, I've kind of like processed my experience with the swim run. The more I see that understanding our dread and really understanding what's happening in our brain when we feel dread could be the key to getting more of the things that you want out of your life.
Okay, so I'm actually really excited about this conversation to share the things that I have learned about dread. So I'm really excited to share the things that I've learned about dread. You know, one of one of the greatest side benefits to doing things outside my comfort zone is that I really come to understand my brain better, understand how it works a little bit better, understand the differences between me as an eternal being and my brain as just a temporary fixture of this life.
And and those insights like I think are so powerful and useful. And that's why I want to share them with all of you. All right, so let's just go back to the days of the swim run, preparing for the swim run and doing it. As I've looked back on these months that I've spent in training and preparing and then executing the swim run, by far, the number one emotion that I felt was dread. Like, I know that I've talked a lot on the podcast here that the the the number one negative emotion that my brain creates is shame. Well, for whatever reason, in 2023, like Dread has really given shame a run for its money in my life. And in fact, I think my brain has produced more dread than anything else. And I would say by a lot, by far and away, like most often what I felt as I prepared for this event and along the way was a lot of dread. And I you know, of course my brain is producing dread because it scared that what I'm asking it to do is going to be hard and it's going to hurt and it's going to hurt my body in some way.
And it's going to require things of me physically that I just don't have. And what I noticed is that by and large, I didn't have a lot of physical pain, that most of it was mental, that most of it was emotional. The most of it was created in my own brain. And like just the dread of physical pain, not the actual physical experience of pain, but the dread of it. Like that's what I experienced more than anything. And like, not just with the race itself, not in the days and the hours leading up to the race itself, but in almost every single workout, almost every single workout.
If like you had a video into my life, you would see me sitting out in the parking lot in front of the gym feeling dread, right? Like I would sit by the edge of the pool, like putting on my swim cap, putting on my goggles and just feeling so much dread in my belly, not wanting to do it and like driving over to the gym the whole way there. I'm feeling just dread coursing through my body as I got dressed in the morning. As soon as the the alarm went off. Like dread is like flooding my body. Right? And it got to the point where, like, even the night before, the night before, around 9:00, as I start thinking about tomorrow and like, doing all the, like kind of nighttime routine things, thinking about the next day, like, I'm feeling so much dread, right? And so it's just like, amazing to me that, like, the actual physical experience of pain wasn't that bad. But oh my goodness, I felt a lot of dread and I think a lot of it, of course, was unnecessary. And we're going to kind of talk about today if you feel like you're feeling more dread than you want to in your life, I think this episode is going to be really, really helpful to you, okay.
So first off, what is dread? What is that feeling all about? Dread really is anticipatory pain. It's like pain ahead of time, right? Dread is the pain that we feel because our brain is scared and anticipating future pain ahead of us and is trying to get out of that future pain.
And we haven't come to the pain yet. It's not uncomfortable yet. Our body is not being stressed yet, but we're feeling all kinds of feelings ahead of time. Dread is the pain our brain gives us in case we might feel pain in the future. Okay. And it's offering this dread in the hopes that it will prevent us from doing all these things that may cause us pain in the future. And I think dread is one of the things that prevents most of us from really showing up in our lives and doing the things that we really want to do.
Like we want certain things we say, we want these results in our lives. We say we want to live our lives in a certain way, and then we keep not doing it. And I think the number one reason for that is dread. So I want you to know that one of the functions of your brain is to be a prediction machine. That is one of the ways that your brain all this time has been able to keep you alive. It has been able to predict what might be dangerous, what might cause you pain, what might cause you suffering, what might threaten your survival.
And so, it's always trying to predict the future and dread is really there because your brain is working as a prediction machine. It's like predicting ahead of time, Hey, this thing could be really uncomfortable. And so it's going to make you feel uncomfortable right now in the hopes that you will avoid it. Right. And so first off, I just want you to know that you're never really going to completely eliminate your dread, right? Like your brain is a prediction machine. It's trying to talk you out of these hard things, things that require effort, things that require discomfort.
And so, it's going to use dread to do that. And so, we're not going to completely get rid of that as long as we're alive. But more awareness around our dread can help us reduce it and it can give us the tools that help us to deal with it, like what we're going to do to move forward when we experience it. And I think reducing your dread even by a little bit every day will significantly impact your life experience. It's going to feel better. It's going to impact the total amount of pain you are feeling in your life overall.
Remember, because most of our pain is not actually experienced. It's just anticipated, right? Like I had way more dread than actual pain over the course of that swim run. And so if I can reduce the amount of dread that I'm feeling, I'm going to reduce the amount of pain I'm feeling like in general in my life. And also the more I can reduce my dread and and deal with it in useful ways, then the more effective I'm going to be at getting the life I want. Remember, your dread is just anticipatory pain.
Like another way to say that is like pain that hasn't happened yet. It's like imagined pain, right? As Mark Twain once said, like, I've suffered a great many catastrophes in my life, most of which never happened. Right? Like, we're all just imagining the pain our brains are imagining the difficulty, the pain, the discomfort. And it's creating so much unnecessary pain in the form of dread and. Today, I want to give you some tools to be able to reduce that. Okay, so let's just spend one moment explaining like why we have Dread. Again, it's created by our brain that is trying to keep you alive. And so, you know, the brain is always searching for three things. It's looking for pleasure. It's trying to avoid discomfort and it's trying to conserve energy. And a lot of the things in your life, you know, require discomfort, it requires a lot of energy, and your brain's job is to avoid these things.
And so, it's generating dread in order to, like, drive you away from the things that are going to require energy, that might have discomfort involved and that are not associated with pleasure. And so dread is the tool your brain is using to conserve your energy and avoid discomfort. And just like your pancreas is going to secrete insulin, when you eat sugar, your brain is going to secrete dread when you're going to go do hard things that require energy. It might be uncomfortable that you might fail at that might put you at some sort of risk. And so, the point is, is that we're never going to completely stop our brain from doing this. That's like a normal functioning brain is creating dread. It happens to all of us. But the point is to not stop when it happens and to decide what am I going to do? What am I going to think? What am I going to, you know, tell myself in order to move forward when it happens? The point is to decide what choice you want to make when your brain offers you dread, because unexamined and unchecked, it's going to just create a life on default where we talk about things but never do them where we wish things were different, but we never actually change them.
So, having dread doesn't mean you're broken. It doesn't mean, you know, there's something wrong with you. It doesn't mean you're mentally ill. It means that your brain actually is functioning properly and your brain is presenting a choice for you, saying, Here's some dread. You can avoid this thing or you can move forward. How do we make that choice to move forward? And, you know, it happens to all of us all the time. I was just like texting with my daughter this morning. She started school again this morning and she texted me and she was just like, you know, she was feeling so much dread and fear last night. And then she texted me this morning after classes and she's like, Turns out it's all in my head. I forgot. I love art and I love school. I was like, Yeah, it's always all in my head. That was literally me after every single workout. So much dread ahead of time. And then I get done and I'd be like, That actually was pretty fun. I actually really enjoyed that. I don't know what I was so worried about. Like, that is just that is just exactly what all of our brains do. Okay, so here are some of the things that I think can be so useful when you encounter dread in your life, as you undoubtedly will.
So, the first thing that I want to invite you to do is get out of your head and into your body. So a lot of times when we're experiencing dread, our brain is giving us all kinds of thoughts about how hard this is going to be, how scary it's going to be, how we don't want to do this, how like we'd rather do anything else and we're just kind of up there like trying to, like, talk ourselves into or out of the thing that we've decided to do. And I really want to tell you that, like, the place to solve this is not in your head. It's can be so much more useful if you can just drop into your body and specifically get in your body and look for what's hurting.
Whenever I do this, I'm always amazed because I'm like, nothing is actually hurting right now, right? Like, maybe I'm dreading that workout. Maybe I'm dreading going to class. Maybe I'm dreading, you know, doing the laundry and like, nothing is actually wrong currently in my body. And if I scan my body, I'm not actually in pain. And that's just like a useful check in to recognize. I'm having an emotion, but I'm not actually in pain right now. I'm not actually uncomfortable except for like this kind of like fast, anxious feeling that's inside my body. Where is that feeling and what does it feel like? Describe it to yourself. Is it in your belly? Is it in your chest? Is it in your fingers and is in your limbs? Like a lot of times as I was going to the gym to prepare for my training, I would feel it like deep in my belly, just this like fast moving energy deep in my belly. And like when I was really anxious, I could feel it like through my fingertips and down my arms like a lot of fast, hot energy. And I just want you to just check in and feel that energy.
Notice where it's flowing, notice what it feels like inside your body. But notice that it is just a vibration and not actual pain. And I think like, I know this sounds like it's not going to be super useful, but it just like creates an amazing awareness that, Oh, this is just a physical sensation that is being created like chemically vibrationally in my body and it's not actually painful.
The second thing that I want to invite you to do is to get present and to ask yourself, Where am I? And by that I mean where am I in time? I'm in the past. I am. Am I in the present or am I in the future? Most of our pain is mentally and emotionally is created when we are outside of the present. When we are back in the past feeling regret or were in the future, you know, feeling dread. And so you just want to come back to the present. Like in every present moment you are fine. Like you aren't in the pool yet. You aren't, you know, on the treadmill yet you aren't in the class yet. You haven't failed yet. It's all because your brain has gone to some future that it has predicted and you want to come back to the present and recognize that you are okay in the present.
One of the easiest ways to do that, to come back to the present, is to find your breath. Find your breath in the present, Breathe in, breathe out. You can notice what you're seeing and hearing and smelling and feeling and tasting in the present. Bring yourself to your senses in the present. If your mind won't let the future go and it's hard to stay in the present and just find yourself jumping forward to whatever you're you're scared of whatever you're dreading. Then run a worst case scenario about that future. Ask yourself, okay, what is the worst thing that can happen if I go do this thing? What is the worst thing that can happen? And then ask yourself if that thing happens, how will I feel? So let's say I'm going to the gym to do a two hour workout and I'm dreading it, right? And I can ask myself, what's the worst thing that can happen? The worst thing that could happen is I will be exhausted.
Maybe I'm going to be so exhausted that I won't be able to finish. And if that happens and I can't finish, how will I feel? Well, maybe I'll feel disappointed. Maybe I'll feel discouraged. Maybe I'll feel ashamed. Maybe I'll feel like a failure. The dread I'm feeling in this moment is just because my brain doesn't want to feel those things. It doesn't want to feel disappointed. It doesn't want to feel discouraged, doesn't want to feel ashamed. What I remind myself is that if the moment comes when I need to feel those things, then I can feel them then.
But I don't need to feel dread now. So, if I'm on my way to the gym and I'm feeling dread, I can ask myself, what's the worst thing that could happen? What are the feelings I would feel if that thing happens? And then I can remind myself if the moment comes to feel disappointed or discouraged or ashamed, then I will feel it then. But it's not time to feel bad yet. And that can just be a powerful reminder. What's happening is my brain is trying to feel bad ahead of time. You can ask yourself, is it time to feel bad? Is it time to feel any of those negative emotions? If it's not time, then I can wait. And when and if the present ever comes where it's time to feel bad, that is the time in which I will feel bad, okay.
Number three. The third thing you can do is allow and welcome pain. And remind yourself sometimes it's supposed to hurt. Like. I think the swim run is a really good example of this, that most of the dread I was feeling was because my brain didn't want to be in pain. It didn't want to be uncomfortable, it didn't want to be out of breath. It didn't want my muscles to hurt. But it's supposed to hurt if I'm going to train and I'm going to change and my body's going to adapt, it's supposed to hurt. And sometimes that's just such a good reminder. Like I'm feeling so much dread because I don't want to feel pain. But the alternative is just to feel the pain instead of the dread and the pain. And so sometimes I just like to remind myself like, it's okay if it hurts when it's time to hurt, it's okay. It's supposed to hurt. I need it to hurt so that I can change.
I needed to hurt so that I can adapt. It's also can be really useful to tell yourself that you like to be bad at things. Like if you're scared about and dreading a future moment where you might fail or, you know, maybe you're going to feel overwhelmed and you're not going to know how to do something. It can just be a really good reminder to tell yourself like, I'm supposed to be bad at it. It's okay that I'm bad at it. I like being bad at things. Sometimes reducing your dread is just about reducing your resistance to the pain and discomfort of the experience.
And you can drop that by just like allowing it to be there. Yeah, this is supposed to be hard. It's supposed to hurt. It's okay. I know that I've told you about this before, but I think about it often when I'm in those uncomfortable places where my body's in pain and changing and adapting, and. And it feels really hard to be there. I heard Courtney do alter, who's just like an amazing ultra runner, talk about how she used to try and avoid the pain cave for as long as possible. That's what she called it is the pain cave like when she's on a long run and she enters this place where she's just in pain, right? She calls that her pain cave. And she said, I used to just think like the point was to avoid getting in the pain cave as long as possible. And she said what really switched things for her was instead of thinking, I'm trying to avoid the pain cave, what she thinks now is I'm trying to get to the pain cave. I'm trying to get there as quickly as possible because that's where the work happens. That's where I change, That's where I adapt, that's where I grow. And so I'm always looking for the pain cave and trying to get there. And I know that's like that's like a big ask, right? Of all of us and of our brain.
And maybe I'm not quite as far as Courtney de Walter in that, but it just allows me to draw my resistance instead of trying to avoid the pain, I'm trying to move towards it. And it's a completely different like experience when you can allow and welcome the pain. Okay. The next thing that I want to say is that negotiation needs to be as short as possible. Okay, so what do I mean by that? Like your brain is offering you dread because it's trying to get out of whatever you're asking it to do. And the longer you kind of negotiate and talk back and forth between your brain, the longer you have to feel the dread. And so while dread is like a pretty normal experience that your brain is going to give you, I want to invite you to shorten that experience to as short as possible. Okay? Instead of like, I'll give you an example when I go to the gym and I need to go in there and run for miles, let's say, and I'm sitting in the parking lot feeling dread.
If I sit in the parking lot and feel dread for 30s, or if I sit in the parking lot and feel dread for 30 minutes, that amount of dread, the amount of that pain is entirely up to me and I can shorten that as much as possible. Resistance to what you are doing, resistance to your activity, resistance to the the thing you're trying to do is always going to be highest at the beginning. And the faster you can get past the beginning, the better. The shorter the amount of suffering you have. If you just get through that beginning part. It didn't matter how many workouts I did, how much swimming I did, how much running I did. The first ten minutes were always hard and I just knew that like the first 800m of my swim, my shoulders and arms were going to burn. And if I could get through that 800m, then it was easy. Then it was just like just one arm after another, one stroke after another, one lap after another. It's the first 800m that were hard.
The first ten minutes of any run. And so I just tried to shorten the amount of dread I'm feeling by like telling myself, Hey, you only got to go ten minutes, you only got to go 800m. By the time I got to that point, then I was ready to go and I could just keep going. So just know that you can shorten the amount of suffering you have just by like forcing yourself past the dread into the activity itself. Make that worst part where you're feeling all that dread and all that resistance. Making that shorter will decrease your suffering.
It's kind of like I don't know if you've ever been to the ocean or like when we had to jump in the water at Lake Huron, it was freezing cold. It was like 60 degrees or something freezing. And during the swim run and like if you're going to wade in, it just extends the pain, right? If you just like try to get in a little bit out of the time, it makes your pain longer as opposed to just like diving in. If you just jump in, you just dive in. The amount of suffering is actually decreased. The other thing that I wanted to say about like really shortening that negotiation period at the beginning is that you just need to recognize that your that resistance is higher because of the way that that your brain is designed in the early stages of doing something hard, like where you feel that sort of like anxious agitation and dread and stress and like just that dread in your body.
It's because your body is releasing norepinephrine and adrenaline and it's just like coursing through your body. And that is just, you know, the old primitive fight or flight response. It's like hitting your bloodstream and asking you to avoid this hard thing. That is a normal, evolutionary, primitive response. And just like your body, you know, has to warm up for a workout, your brain has to warm up as well. And that's why you get those higher levels of norepinephrine and adrenaline and like your brain is releasing all of those chemicals into your into your bloodstream.
And so just recognize like this is just at the beginning. This is just how it starts. And the more you can normalize that for yourself and just recognize like, okay, this is just at the beginning and the faster I get through it, the faster I get to the other side of it, you will be able to reduce a lot of your suffering. What I notice is that when I'm buffering and by that I'm just like. I mean, like, I'm avoiding the activity that I'm supposed to be doing it. Like, I'm sitting in that parking lot, I'm scrolling on my phone, I'm avoiding that activity because I want to feel better in my body, like it feels uncomfortable in my body. And so, then I'm trying to escape. Maybe I'm scrolling, maybe I'm eating something. Maybe I'm just trying to avoid. Feeling bad in my body. But what's happening is I'm extending my pain. I'm just feeling bad longer. And so we're more buffering from that dread and buffering from that anxiety. It's just actually extending it. It's not solving it at all. I want you to start seeing that dread and that sort of like anxious feeling as a totally normal part of any activity you're trying to do instead of something that you need to avoid, you just want to like welcome it, embrace it, move through it.
Okay, the next thing that I think can be so useful to help deal with dread is just to have radical self-love and compassion for yourself. Like, I just found that, like, so often, like my brain was scared, my brain was scared. It didn't want to do the thing. It was producing all kinds of dread and being really loving and kind to myself and listening to myself was so useful. It was almost just like I would talk to myself and say like, Yeah, I know you don't want to do it, but I'm going to go with you. And I really want to offer you that idea to make a commitment to yourself or promise to go with yourself. And by that I mean like have your own back, be your cheerleader. You know, imagine, like, I don't know, going with a child to something scary. Like, you know, I was thinking at like a primary on Sunday when your child has to give a talk, like you go up there and you stand next to them, and I want you to have that same kind of image for yourself as you go to do these hard things in your life instead of just being frustrated and disgusted with yourself that you're scared and you're anxious, what you want to do is recognize, like, of course you're scared.
I'm going to go with you. I'm not going to leave you. I'm going to be right by your side this entire time. I'm so proud of you for doing this thing one time. I hope my son doesn't mind me sharing this. But one time as we were preparing for our swim run, we did an ocean open water, ocean swim. And it was our first time, you know, swimming in the ocean and of course, in the ocean there's all kinds of things that like are technically dangerous and life threatening. Right? So our brains were producing all kinds of fear and anxiety and dread about swimming through the ocean, right? Like, we want to do a swim run, but we don't want to get eaten. Right. And he was kind of ahead of me in the water and leading the swim. And as we were entering that water, I just overheard him talking to himself and just talking like a little mantra to himself and saying, this is just a feeling. This is just a feeling. This is just a feeling. And like, I thought it was so charming and so sweet and also so useful like that can be so useful to yourself as you're, like, feeling the dread and the anxiety to just remind yourself this is just a feeling.
This is just a feeling. I'm going with you. You're going to be okay. I've got your back. I you know I love you for doing this. I'm proud of you for doing this. And to really, like, go with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. You just your brain is powerful. It has powerful mechanisms in place to try and keep you from spending energy and being in dangerous situations and and feeling discomfort. And you got to stop making yourself wrong for that function, for your brain's function, right? And I just think it's so powerful to just like have some compassion and understanding for what's really happening in your brain and then stop being at war with yourself. This is just your brain. It's not you. And this is one of the things where coaching has made such a difference for me, right? Like I stopped being mad at myself. I stopped having a war against myself and I helped just instead understand that there was a good reason I was feeling what I was feeling. There's always a good reason.
My brain is giving me this experience. It's just doing its job and now I just have to manage that. And one of the ways that we manage that is through love and compassion and understanding and like being your own best cheerleader. Okay, and that brings us to the last thing that I wanted to talk about with dread. And like, I hope you won't think that this is is silly, but one thing that I found so useful, both in the swim run event itself and even in training, was prayer. And, you know, when we feel dread, I think one of the hardest parts about it is feeling like you are alone and feeling like I have to go through this thing by myself. And I think it's not only helpful to have your own self on your side, but to request the help of heaven as well. And I just always got so much out of asking like heaven to go with me as I went to do, you know, the hard things that I was that I wanted to do. And I just, like, appreciated being able to talk to my Heavenly Father and say, Hey, I'm scared about this thing. My brain is scared about this thing. Please go with me. Help me to have courage. And I, I just want to offer that to each one of you that whatever it is that you're doing that you know, feels hard and your brain is creating dread about it, But it's something that you really want. Like heaven wants it for you to heaven wants you to be successful. And you are not alone. And I just found it useful to like, enlist heaven's help in the things that I was doing.
You know, as I've been thinking about this swim run experience and how much dread I felt and like how much dread my brain produced, you know, it reminded me of the Scripture account of Christ before he goes to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane. And, you know, like the Scriptures recount his whole life from his birth to his death. And but they only talk about his dread in that one moment as he's heading towards the garden. You know, it talks about how he started to feel heavy and how he felt like so heavy unto death as he starts to like, make his way into the Garden of Gethsemane. And, you know, I've just thought about that so much recently and wondered like he came into the world to die and he came into the world to suffer. And yet he was able to contain his dread until just before. And like, you know, for years, he knew it was coming for his whole life. I'm sure he knew it was coming. And yet, like he did not feel the dread until just before. And I just think that's a testament, one, to like the powerful way that he is able to manage his physical body and manage his brain with his spirit. Like to me, it's just like makes me in so much awe of him, like as if I needed another reason.
This is just like one more moment of off for me to recognize that. But also, like I just want to point out that in that moment of dread, what did he do? But he prayed for help. And I just think, like, as always, you know, he is our example in that like, okay, can I get better at managing my mind and like containing my dread and deciding I don't have to feel bad until it's the time to feel bad. I don't have to suffer ahead of time.
I can just like feel the negative emotion in the moment that I need to feel, but also when I need help, Heaven is there and when I feel like I don't want to do it. And like there's just nothing but dread coursing through me. Like, please, I don't want to do this thing. Then heaven is there to help you. And what did he do when, you know, the dread was so intense that he wanted to run and to avoid it all as he prayed for help. And I just want to offer you that as like a powerful tool for each one of us that, like being alone in it, being alone in our suffering is what makes it really unbearable.
And I just want you to know that you are not alone.
That is what I have for you. That's what I have learned about dread in the last eight months. And I just, like, really want you to think about that. Like, what if the deciding factor in the creation of your life is just really your ability to manage your dread? What if all the people you look at and you admire the things they do and the things they accomplish and the decisions they make, the choices they make? Like what if their ability to do that is just because they're able to manage and endure the feelings of dread creating by their brain? And what if that's all that's really between you and doing the things that you want, creating the life you want.
It's just that it's just a feeling, just the feeling of dread. And like that doesn't mean that that feeling isn't real and it doesn't mean that it isn't challenging to experience, but it means that you have the tools to handle it and and to be able to move forward and move through it so you can still create the things that you want. So many times we think if we feel dread, then we make it mean like maybe I don't want this thing. If I feel dread every time I go to work out, maybe I don't even want to do this swim run. Like as I was training, I kept thinking like, why am I doing this thing that I dread? Why am I getting up every morning to do a thing I dread? It makes no sense.
Why am I even doing this right? But what I had to remind myself was just because my brain doesn't want it doesn't mean that I don't want it right. Don't get confused about that. Your brain wants different things than you do. And if coaching has helped me do anything, it has helped me figure out the difference there. The difference between what I want and what my brain wants, and then all the tools to be able to get my brain out of the way so that I can keep going through the dread and get the experiences I want.
So if there are things that you want to do and dread is getting in the way, sign up for a free coaching session. I will help you out. I will help you know how to manage your brain because everything you really want is just on the other side of your brain's dread. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week.
Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can. Love your Earth life experience, sign up for a free coaching session at AprilPricecoaching.com. This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever. As your coach, I'll show you that the way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.
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