A few years ago we were on a family vacation. There was a fun outdoor pool with a water-slide where we were staying.
As we all enjoyed the water and the sunshine and the slide my one daughter told my husband that she would not be going down the slide.
Like any parent would, he tried to convince her how fun it was and told her he would help her.
She was still full of fear and was adamant that she was not going to go down. He managed to convince her to at least walk to the top and decide from there.
Guess what, she was even more sure that this slide was not for her when she got to the top.
As promised my husband went ahead and helped her. His idea of help though was not the kind of help our daughter was expecting. His help came in the form of a gentle push.
Now, this could have not gone well… but luckily for my husband, our daughter realized that the waterslide wasn’t scary at all, and for the rest of the day she was on it non stop.
I think about this story all the time.
What are my own personal water-slides?
What are the things that I am adamant I’m not going to do because I am scared?
What am I missing out on in my life because I am not willing to step out of my comfort zone?
Why am I so unwilling sometimes to allow fear and do the hard thing anyway?
What level of happiness could I be experiencing right now if I wasn’t so afraid of feeling uncomfortable emotions?
I think fear can either motivate us or keep us stuck.
When it’s the latter we will often believe that stuck is our only option because it feels easier.
For my clients fear often looks like:
Fear of trusting in themselves to be able to change
Fear of screwing up their kids
Fear of making the wrong decision
Fear of hurting someone else’s feelings
Fear of being honest and actually saying what they think
Fear of what others are thinking or what they will think
Fear of someone not liking them
Fear that nothing is going to change or that everything is going to change
Fear about what their future will hold if they don’t change
If you can relate to any of these fears I want you to ask yourself two questions
1) Is allowing the fear to take control of your life working well for you?
2) How willing are you to feel fear?
In our house, we now have a little running joke about waterslides. In fact on the first day of school when my kids were feeling anxious all I had to say is “It’s a waterslide.”
When they are complaining about a new food we are trying all we have to say was “It’s a water slide”
So for you, the next time you are feeling some fear or anxiety about something, I want you to try telling yourself “It’s a water slide.”
Can you do the thing despite your fear?
The more you practice fear the less you will want to run away from it.