Major breakthrough last night. After months of practice, coaching, discussion, & tears, my six-year-old daughter finally mastered the two-wheel bike. This is Big. Like Shirley Temples & Smoothies For Dinner Big.
Maya is a naturally coordinated and thus, I expected she would start riding her bike at a younger age simply because of this. But fear stalled her out. Not just normal fear of falling, but big, irrational, tear-jerking fear. Fear so big she was hardly willing to try. Even mentioning a bike without training wheels resulted in her running from the room.
Maya is not a fearful person. She is actually courageous, creative, and willing. However, she was literally immobilized by an irrational fear of this monstrous two-wheeled creature in our garage.
Isn’t this true for most of us? While there are some people who are gripped & plagued by generalized fear, most people have “a thing” that terrifies them, a “project” that haunts them, an “opportunity” they are petrified of seizing. So, we hide, ignore, hope no one mentions it. We look at it from around the corner & then step away. We dodge these moments, and if we’ve had the fear for a long time, we become experts at dodging.
And yet, overcoming our irrational fears creates big breakthroughs, & incredible liberation & momentum. When we finally stare it in the eye with determination & resolve, we find that, success or failure, it is never as bad as we imagined. The monstrous two-wheeled creature is just a glittery pink bike with a bell & cute basket. Failure is just a skinned knee.
When we decide to detach the grip of fear and forge forward, we free ourselves from our own self-inflicted torment. We learn that we have that power. We experience the endorphin rush of new frontiers which energizes & fires us up to tackle “what’s next.” We realize that moving forward is a lot more exhilarating than two-stepping cautiously in our safety zone.
Exhilaration is contagious. Not just to others but to ourselves. It makes us hungry for more. Facing irrational fears is the fastest path to growth. As Nike Inspires Us: Just Do It. And then celebrate like crazy. Shirley Temples On The House.