For months I have watched as Blake tip-toed around her Little Tikes slide. She would go up to it, touch it, look at it, but no way would she attempt to slide down it. She was scared! Controlled by fear. As an observer, having experienced this same slide myself decades ago, I knew it wasn’t going to hurt her. I knew if she would just go for it and slide down she would have the time of her life. But to her, it was frightening. The possibility of injury and pain too great.
Today as she finally mustard up the courage to climb to the top, I thought to myself, “Is she really going to do it?”. I’ve watched her ponder the possibility countless times, always frozen with doubt. Today though, something was different. Today Blake overcame her fear. Today Blake overcame self-doubt. As she slid down, her face lit up, followed by endless giggles. She conquered her fear! And it was a rush. It was exciting. Blake transcended an insecurity that had been preventing her from experiencing joy. I watched as she climbed up and slid down another 200 times at least, laughing with as much enthusiasm on the last as she did on the first.
What a beautiful example of how fear in our own lives controls us and dictates what we will and won’t do. It’s so easy on the other side to see how our fears are without merit; that our fears are nothing more than roadblocks preventing us from experiencing happiness. As we grow older our fears tend to seem more intense, more real. We look at obstacles in our life and believe they are insurmountable, when in reality they’re no bigger than a toddler too timid to go down a Little Tikes slide. What fear is inhibiting you from experiencing life to the fullest? What fear has you stuck, paralyzed, unable to move and take action? Whatever it is, climb it, and slide down. You’ll be in for one hell of a ride.