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The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future

The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future | mostly mindful mommyI was not a shy kid. I loved to dance, sing, and ask LOTS of questions – in front of anyone who would listen. Then one day my mom asked me to call and order pizza and I was suddenly terrified at the thought of speaking to the stranger who would be on the other end of the line.

I dialed, and immediately hung up. Mom made it clear that there would be no pizza if I didn’t order it, and I was able to make the call.

Later that week, it happened again. She asked me to take some birthday cake over to the neighbors, and I was afraid to. Afraid they wouldn’t want it. Afraid they would think I was dumb for bringing it over. I was 8 years old, and already beginning to fear rejection from others on a daily basis. She made me do it anyway (I left the cake on their front doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran. But it counts!).

It wasn’t until I was in my first month on the job in corporate america that I fully appreciated what my mother had done for me. I spent my entire DAY emailing people I didn’t know, calling strangers on the phone, and delegating tasks in meetings to people I’d never met, yet none of it was the slightest bit uncomfortable for me. It was then that I realized: by giving me no choice but to face my fears my mother saved me years of social anxiety.

Lately I’ve been thinking alot about fear. This is because tomorrow I give my icebreaker speech for Toastmasters, and I. Am. Terrified. So why am I doing it? I’m doing it because a few years ago I realized in order to continue evolving into my best self I needed to FACE MY FEARS. All of them.

This is especially important for parents because we can’t encourage our children to face their fears if we are not modeling the same behavior. Still not motivated enough to face your own fears?

I have a friend whose mother was afraid of heights. His family never took one flight his entire childhood. As a result, he thought he was also afraid of flying and continued to avoid air travel. At 24, all grown up and ready for his first business trip, he realized he was going to have to fly. Once in the air, he realized he had never been afraid of heights, but had projected his mother’s fear upon himself.

Now that’s a scary thought. Our children will have plenty of their own fears without taking on ours as well. Unsure how to get started facing your fears? Here’s a handy guide to get you on your way!

 

1. IDENTIFY YOUR FEARS
You may think you know what scares you, but you won’t know for sure until you start writing them down! Case in point: despite years of repeating the same pattern of dating guys I knew I’d never marry, I didn’t pin this down to be “fear of commitment” until I made my list.

 

2. EXAMINE YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR
Often our fears help illuminate things that are going on within ourselves. After listing my fears I realized several fell into a category I called “fear of judgement”. Once I saw how I was judging others in my own life, and began to shift this behavior, those fears began to ease.

 

3. JUST DO IT
The next time an opportunity presents itself where you feel the fear rise and know it’s the last thing you’d want to do, that is your cue to say “YES!”. For me, this moment came recently when I was asked to give a presentation in front of a large group of people. When I realized that I wanted to decline not because I didn’t have time to prepare but because speaking in front of a large group of people frightens me, I agreed to do it.

 

4. REPEAT STEP 3
Baby steps lead to big steps. Repetition builds strength. KEEP GOING!

 

5. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GROWTH
Whenever I’m unhappy about not being entirely comfortable speaking in front of people, I look at examples like my last presentation and realize how much easier it becomes each time I face the fear. I look back at my original list of fears, and each one that I’ve overcome has taught me that fears are inherently weak, while I am stronger than I’d ever imagined!

 

Facing fears builds confidence and allows us a glimpse of what we are truly capable of. When we start owning our own power in this way, we have no limitations! And as you face your own fears, you will know how to be firm yet compassionate as you help your children face theirs.

When we come upon a fear, we imagine the worst that could happen. Fear of failure might cause us to think, “If I try this new sport, I might not be good at it!” Next time acknowledge that possibility, then ask yourself or your child, “But what’s the BEST thing that could happen?”

Maybe they’ll be the next Olympic champion in that sport. Maybe they’ll make a new friend. Maybe they won’t be the best, but still find an activity they enjoy for years to come. But definitely, their life will change forever for having tried it.

So, what fears do you have? If you faced them, what’s the BEST thing that could happen?

facing fear
still fearless

 



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24 thoughts on “The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future

  1. Kelly Bourne says:

    I used to avoid doing things that made me feel uncomfortable or if I thought I might fail.  As I’m learning to lean into those uncomfortable feelings, I can see doors starting to open that would have otherwise always been shut!

    Your post reminded me of a quote I’ve seen floating around social media lately – “What if I fall?  Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

    Words to live by, for sure. 😉

    Reply
  2. Eileen says:

    I can’t wait to hear how your Icebreaker goes!!!! Yay!!!

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Thanks, Eileen! It went so much better than I expected, contrary to what I thought I would like best I think I am much less nervous doing a prepared speech than the on-the-spot table topics.

      Reply
  3. Lauren says:

    So true! My mom made me stay in the debate club in elem school when I really wanted to quit.. I am really glad she did!

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      That’s awesome! At times I wish public speaking was something I had conquered at a younger age but I am sure it is coming at just the right time in my journey :)

      Reply
  4. Jennifer S. says:

    I am terrified of flying, but I never talk about it. I don’t want to project my fears on my children. A couple of years ago my then-thirteen-year-old son had the opportunity to visit family, but he would have to fly alone. I was worried but kept my worries to myself, and he did fine. Mostly he said he was bored after the first few minutes. :)

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      That’s wonderful that you were aware of the possibility of impressing them upon your son! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  5. Maria says:

    Congrats on your ice breaker! I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully. Fear has been the back of my mind, especially since I became a mother. Your statement, “we can’t encourage our children to face their fears if we are not modeling the same behavior” is something I’ve been grappling over. I have plenty of fears, but I need to set an example for my daughter and conquer them once and for all. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Thank you! And I am sure that you will do wonderfully facing your fears once you set your mind to it!

      Reply
  6. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says:

    I love this! That’s such an important part of our job as parents – not just to face their fear in a certain situation but to let them see that their fears can be overcome! Doing something hard builds confidence.

    Reply
  7. Leanne Cornelius says:

    I hadn’t considered how mine & Spencer’s fears would have a knock on effect on Aria, it is definitely something that we need to think about when she is older.

     

    <a href=”http://www.asliceofmylifewales.com”>Leanne – A Slice of My Life Wales</a>

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Becoming conscious of how each thing we do might impact our children is so valuable! Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Thanks for reading! Yes, and I still do learn lots from her :]

      Reply
  8. My Life As A Mummy says:

    As I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder it’s pretty tough to face my fears because the anxiety takes over. One of my biggest fears is cars. I am ok being a passenger but the thought of being in control of a big metal object scares me. As well as the other drivers on the road.

    I know one day I need to just bite the bullet and get on with it, but I am not at that place at the moment!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

    Reply
  9. Jessica Dimas says:

    Awesome post! Coincidentally, this week I’ve been facing a fear of mine that I’ve had for a long time. When I write it down and actually sort of halfway look it in the eye, it starts to become less threatening. Not so big and scary. I really loved these tips you shared, I read them while thinking of my big fear I’m trying to face right now, so thank you!

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Good for you!! If you think it looks less threatening when you begin to look it in the eye, just wait until you take action! After that, you realize how weak your fears are and how truly strong YOU are! I don’t even need to wish you the best, because you’ve GOT THIS! Go, momma!

      Reply
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  12. Heaven says:

    I used to be terrified of killing bugs, but when I had children I realized I had to just get over it so they wouldn’t be as afraid as I was. It has worked! And they take stuff to the neighbors all the time. They even beg me to shop for me so they can pay the cashier. I never wanted to do that when I was young. This post is right on the mark! Visiting from SHINE!

    Reply
  13. Kirsten Toyne says:

    Thank you for this. It is an insightful article. Our children learn from us but not just by what we say but also by what we do and how we are. I have been going through a process of expanding and challenging myself recently and I can already see an impact on my kids.

    Reply
  14. Steph @MisplacedBrit says:

    Absolutely love this post!!

    I’ve already written down the homework and started answering the questions :-) …Here’s to positive change!

    Reply
    • the mostly mindful mommy says:

      Cheers to postitive change! I’d love to hear about your progress – please tweet me or contact me any time you need some encouragement!!

      Reply

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