When’s the last time you intentionally did something you are scared of? There was a long time in my life where I couldn’t answer that question. I really couldn’t remember.
I may have found myself in circumstances that frightened me, but intentionally stepping into them? No Thank You. Life has enough stressors and surprises.
Recently I’ve been potty training my 2.5 year old. She took to it really easily- told me when she had to pee and even sometimes went herself.
But, like many kids, when it comes time for, ya know, #2, she freaks the eff out. Tells me she needs a pull-up, cries and screams of sheer terror that I can truly see in her face.
For a little while I indulged her, put her in the pull-up so she could go to her spot and do her business and then come to me for changing but after a week or so I decided enough was enough.
I made her go on the toilet. She was terrified. I soothed her. I held her hands. I told her she was strong and awesome and a big girl. I told her I’d be proud. I sang her a song. I read her a book. I tried to calm her nerves and the whole time I was thinking to myself “Dude- I didn’t know pooping on the potty could be so scary! How many times is she gonna have to do this before she loses the fear? …and how can I write about this aha moment on my blog without my kid hating me forever?”
And then, this weekend, I spoke live, in front of an audience , and I was – no pun intended – shitting bricks. I knew I wanted to do it, I’d been envisioning it for months- I wanted to face the fear, but every molecule of tension was bubbling up inside me. I tried some half-assed meditation looking thing I read about online, I ate an assortment of nuts and cravings before to keep my blood sugar balanced so I didn’t end up in “psycho-tova-needs-to-take-a-breath-and-oh-yeah-your-hands-are-super-shaky” mode, and I tried to focus on how proud of myself I’d be when I finished.
And then, I spoke. And, for the most part, it came easy. I was more nervous before and after the speech than I was in the middle of it -even when I lost my train of thought and decided to say “OMG- I just forgot what I was gonna say” to buy me some time to remember.
And I was proud of myself. I wanted to go around and give everyone hi-fives afterwards and say “I did it! I gave my speech!” like Liat does when she so proudly tells her dad that she has pooped on the potty (only different.)
Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to ask for a pull-up and go hide in a corner than face your fears. But in doing that you also miss out on the rewards (with potty training, there are many, for everyone involved.) Eventually, Liat will become accustomed to doing her business by herself. And eventually, I will become accustomed to getting up on stage and speaking. Because in the end, it’s what I want to do, and facing the fear just makes it that much more rewarding.
In what area of your life have you been allowing yourself to slip into a pull-up and hide in the corner even though you know you are capable of “being a big girl” and pushing yourself to accomplish more? Eventually those things that bring terror today can just be one of those things you do without giving it much thought at all. (Except in public restrooms. I give that a lot of thought. We all have our boundaries.)
Relaxing after my speech. So proud of my myself…
Wanna see my speech? I opened the day, speaking to a room full of brides about maintaining their Muchness during stress of the wedding planning process.
note: The beginning was cut off. I thanked them for coming to my special day, 😉 and then told them where the term Muchness originated from…
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By_72vXLwXE” ratio=”4:3″]