I remember one summer when my younger sister was only around 3 years old and I took her swimming, she’d just jump off the edge into the pool with her arms and legs flapping in the air without a worry in the world. The following summer season, though, she would stand there unable to make that same jump in the very same pool. Something shifted in that one year gap. Something made her think that jumping in is not OK like it used to be. What happened? As we grow, the concept of fear grows with us. Mostly triggered by innocent comments from adults like ‘Watch out’ or ‘Be careful’. Kids don’t know how to filter this to specific situations and rather generalise it for everything. This is where I would give her encouragement or hold her hand or jump with her. Within minutes she’s OK again. Sometimes, we’d have to go through the same thing again the following day to get her to jump in.
This happens to us at any age. If you dig deep enough, you’ll realise that fear stops you from doing a whole bunch of things. We don’t want to call it ‘fear’ so we mask it with all sorts of other things. We come up with all sorts of stories to hide it.
I had fear stop me from doing a lot of things and the mask I hid behind was that I was a shy person. A friend once told me that was the biggest lie I tell myself! I didn’t understand her then. I didn’t even know what she was talking about. Now, the more I think about it and how that one belief really did stop me from doing so many fun things, I realise how true it is.Fear is probably the number one hurdle stopping people from living their true passions. Fear stops us from dreaming big and from tapping into our unlimited potentials. Fear makes us live small.
They say, your negative attitude about life is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you won’t get anywhere!