When Does Caution Help and When Does It Harm?
I was standing on the beach recently getting ready to paddle out for a surf. A stranger approached me and said, “be careful out there.”
I was a bit taken aback. I didn’t know what she was telling me to be careful about. The waves were decent that day but relatively small and manageable for my comfort level.
This got in my head though. It made me wonder. Should I be careful? What do I need to be careful about…did she see a shark?! Am I making a poor decision?
At the end of the day, I shook it, paddled out, and had a great time. But it got me thinking. What happens to our friends, clients, strangers when we tell them to “be careful” with no further context.
“Be careful lifting weights. It’s dangerous. Don’t use your abs with diastasis or be careful with your postpartum recovery.”
I fully support caution. But there’s a fine line between that and FEAR. Fear freezes us. It keeps us from doing things we love and staying active, which in the end is the greater harm for us mentally and physically.
It is my belief that if you can support someone to take safe action rather than provide caution, you don’t just help them in that moment but you give them the confidence to continue on and have many positive benefits downstream. For example, instead of “be careful running after you have a baby,” try, “I hear that running can be challenging after having a baby but pelvic floor physical therapy can help!” Of course I’m gonna make a plug here 😀
It’s not just the hour with a physical therapist, personal trainer, therapist, doula etc. that makes the difference. It’s the confidence you get moving forward to live your life feeling calm and balanced. The downstream health benefits of this are amazing.
Full disclosure… I’m a worry wart so I’m not sitting here calling out anyone who spreads caution. We do it because we care! We tend to fear the unknown, which is why educating ourselves can be so empowering. A worthwhile activity could be: think about something that scares you. Then, ask yourself, “is that because it’s the unknown?” If so, find someone who can teach you about it! If not, you ARE allowed to hold onto a healthy dose of fear 😊 .
If you have ANY fears around movement, I’m your girl, so get in touch!
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