I watched in silence as dad encouraged his daughter that in order to stay balanced on her bike, she needed to pedal faster.
Of course, to the daughter pedaling faster meant the odds of falling doubled. The fear of the “possibility” of falling didn’t encourage her to pedal faster, it merely stalled her progress
After a few minutes of crying staying that “she couldn’t do it” her dad paused for a moment. He calmed her and then asked a simple question. He said, “what are you afraid of”?
After a few whimpers and sobs the daughter responded with trepidation and said, “what if I fall”?
Dad thought for a moment. His instinct was to say, “then I’ll be there to catch you”. His foresight caught his reaction and instead of offering security. Instead, he challenged her mindset. Well he said, “what happens if you fall, but you get back up and pedal again?”
She instinctually responded, but I could get hurt! His heart knew that was a possibility, but his belief new she had to try in spite of the risks. He said, “yes, that is a possibility, but another possibility is that you can learn to ride and then have the ability to ride to your friends house by yourself”!
Her sobs subsided and a smile started to emerge. Thrilled with the “new” possibility she found the motivation to learn how to ride that new bike.
How often do we allow our fears to manifest and stop our progress ? We tend to catastrophize a fear of outcome before we even begin.
When we are inspired by something greater than our fears, our incentive is to keep moving forward. We learn to grow our competencies and thus, gaining confidence as we pedal forward.
I liken it to a flywheel versus a hamster wheel. One has gears that propels you forward, while the other goes fast without a destination.
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.” – unknown.