This is very much why I don't think I'd enjoy racing IRL. I don't have that mindset. I'm a big baseball fan and have coached youth baseball. Everybody will take a ball to their face at some point in their baseball careers. The ballplayers field the next ball like it never happened. Normal people flinch. And, like with racing, the ones who are tentative have the most problems.
I remember seeing Lewis Hamilton's interview on Top Gear when he described his Turn 1 shunt (I think in practice with a brake failure?). Once he knew he was going in to the wall he thought, "This is going to hurt a little bit" and then got back out as soon as he could. That was a long time ago. He has never shown any hesitation in any corner since then. That's a racer's mindset. Good for you if you have it! Another example is Brundle's horrific-looking shunt where he ran back to the paddock and got in the spare car.
I was excited as I could be before I got to go out on track. After experiencing it I realized that I just don't have the mindset/balls/etc for it.
I think that it would be a great study to give everyone who responded, "Real life - it's a no-brainer" a chance to experience it and then follow up on what they thought about it. I'm sure plenty of you would volunteer for the study.
I also assume that everyone who responded "Real life - it's not even a question!" is either in or would be happy to get into and stay in the physical shape required to race. I realize that racing MX-5s doesn't require the same fitness as F1, but you can't exactly just roll out of bed and do it well either.
I think your baseball comparison is a really good one
And along the lines of the others I did 3 years of junior stockcar, 1000cc mini with bars round it, and in that time I had 4/5 what I'd call serious crashes. The first one, flying over a tyre barrier shook me a little but I was back to feeling confident within about 2 race meetings and the ones after that weren't a big issue