Fear: It really does hold many of us back from doing some things that we would want to do.
I can’t tell you how many people I have met over the past few years that have stopped doing something because they were afraid of the outcome, even if the outcome would turn out positively!
For instance, there was the mother who wanted to go back to school to become a nurse. She would have to spend several years poring over the books, taking tests, studying, and adjusting her schedule so that she got up early and went to bed late. In the end, though, her salary would double. She was afraid of going back to school at her age (younger than me!) As either Dear Ann or Abby once wrote in an article, “How old will you be in two years if you don’t go?” The same, right? If you feel your age is holding you back, consider the alternative. You are going to get older no matter what. Sometimes age is on your side-it helps to have experience. I find that I learn better now than I did when in my twenties because I want to learn now. Back then, I did it so I could eventually earn a paycheck. Back then I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, and so I studied something that really didn’t suit me. Back then, I had no clue! Now I do. So, don’t let age hinder you.
I knew another mother who wanted to start a company. She hemmed and hawed about the potential obstacles, such as the long hours that it would take to get started and the understanding of how businesses work: where would she find clients, how would she get samples made, how would she market. She waited too long, someone else started a similar business in her area, and now that person is doing extremely well and she is sad that she didn’t follow through on her idea. Fear kept her from doing this. She got stuck on the what ifs and didn’t work through it.
I’ve recently figured out the best way to tackle fear, and I learned it from my four year old daughter: Take one chunk at a time.
This is a kid who climbs the highest trees and rides her bike at 100 miles per hour through deep holes in the road. How does she do it? She looks at one step at a time. She sees the bottom branch of the tree and says, “I can get onto that branch with no problem!” Then she gets onto that branch and sees the next branch and says, ” I can get to that one now!” And on and on she goes until she is at the top of the tree. Of course she then has to figure out a way down, but I always tell her, “Do the one branch at a time thing in reverse.”