We sit at the top of the street, waiting to ride down the hill.
I look over at my 5-year-old son, sitting on his bike, staring down the hill. He looks nervous. It's his first family bike ride without training wheels and he doesn't like hills.
"You ready to go, buddy?"
"No. I'm scared."
"What are you scared of?"
"I don't want to fall. I don't want to go fast."
He loves riding his bike but does not want to go down any hills.
My wife and I give him all the tips we can think of, letting him know we're close by to help. But, he still doesn't budge. He sits there for a long time, trying to decide what to do.
I don't blame him. I have let my fear overwhelm me more times than I can count.
Fear Prevents Action
We all have things we fear. Things in our life that prevent us from moving towards our goals.
For some, it's fear of failure. For others, it's fear of being hurt. For us all, fear prevents us from becoming who we want to become. What we must do is decide to overcome our fears to be the person we want to be. We must choose courage.
This is no easy task. It's not a switch we can flip and suddenly fear is gone.
Fear "often masquerades as a cloak of protection", but the real damage comes from us not taking action in the face of our fear. We allow our fears to keep us from taking that next step.
Overcoming fear is a choice. It's an intentional decision to move through fear and step into the unknown. It's a decision to choose courage.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” - George Addair
Take Action in the Midst of Fear
Here are 3 steps to move through fear and choose courage:
- Recognize when you are afraid. The first step is to recognize when fear sets in. If you can get better at recognizing fear, then you can more quickly work to address it.
- Acknowledge you are afraid. Once you recognize your fear, acknowledge it. Don't hide it: bring it into the light. In the light, you realize the fear isn't such a big deal.
- Decide to take the next step. Now that you have recognized and acknowledged your fear, choose courage. Make the decision to take the next step through your fear.
When I am faced with a situation where I am afraid, I choose to take the next step. I wish I could say it happens every time, but I am learning to choose it more often.
My goal is to get better at recognizing my fear and choose the courageous step more often.
Just like my son.
After sitting at the top of the street for some time, he decided to face his fear. He chose to bike down the hill and embrace what was to come. As he's going down with a huge smile on his face, he yells, "Hey Dad! Want to race me?"
I want to choose courage when I grow up, just like my son.
Which fear do you need to face today?