Conquering Fear: Lessons from a Two Year Old
My daughter is the bravest person I know.
When my daughter was two years old, she had to undergo an in-depth physical examination which included lots of poking and prodding and strange sterile places and smells. The whole event culminated with getting 6 vials of blood drawn from her teen-incy little veins. This was actually the 3rd time in two weeks that attempts were made to draw blood from her tiny arms. Out of 6 needle sticks only two were successful in getting the required amount of blood for the panel of tests the doctor ordered.
I don't know about you, but I HATE getting blood drawn and I've been known to whine, cry and even pass out - and I am a (so-called) mature adult!
This precious, brave, scared little girl cried and cried, but sat perfectly still for what seemed like hours as a parade of people in white coats, rubber gloves and funny-looking big plastic goggles took turns attempting to extract her blood. The lab technicians were prepared for kicking, squirming and flailing, but were amazed at her ability to keep her body still rather than giving in to her instincts to kick, punch, and try to flee what must have seemed like torture to her.
"Well, good for her....you say, and 'So what does this have to do with me?"
Imagine - in living color - the scariest part of building your business, or starting anything new and overwhelming. Is it making the decision to change jobs mid-life? Is it gathering leads? Is it asking the bank for the funding? Is it developing a customer base? Is it continuing on with the next step even after what seems like the worst rejection ever? Is it announcing a huge goal that everyone else tells you you'll never be able to achieve?
Now that your vivid imagination has you in that place - do you feel like screaming and crying? Do you feel like running away? Kicking and punching? Quitting?
You are not alone in having those feelings. Fear is perfectly natural - normal - and, in fact, it's desirable!
Ask any ridiculously successful person if they have experienced (and still experience) fear and you will get a resounding 'yes!' What separates winners from everyone else, however, is that they march right on - doing what's necessary and right, in spite of their fears! They have learned how to turn their fears into energy for doing the hard things - the things that matter most.
My little daughter didn't know what was going on and why people were sticking her with needles. She didn't know that these tests would help the doctor make an accurate assessment of her health and to identify any special treatments that may be required. But, somewhere in her mind was the ability to cry out in the midst of her incredible fear while
simultaneously demonstrating self-control over her gut instincts to 'get the heck out of here." She sat right there, with her little face just inches from the pain and fear, and she didn't flinch. Her response to this huge fear was inspiring. Thinking of her then and now - 12 years later - I have no excuses. There's a little girl watching me to see what I will do with my fears.
So, who is watching to see your gutsy demonstration of courage and faith in the face of your fears?