This installment of E-couragement has been written by Executive Coach, Elaine Penn.
I was five years old and scared. This was my day to jump off the diving board. Two weeks earlier, during my first attempt, I had split my chin open. With freshly removed stitches, my father was encouraging me to try again. All week he penned inspiring notes. He promised to be in the water to catch me. In my uncertainty, he knew the importance of keeping dreams alive and not succumbing to fear.
When we arrived at the pool I was trembling but my father wasted no time and jumped in. I stepped onto the diving board like a prisoner preparing to walk the plank towards certain death. Treading water, he gently coaxed, “You can do it.” My dad continued, “Just lean into my arms. I will be here.” On a hot July day, I took a deep breath, walked beyond my fear, and stepped off the diving board. I emerged from the water exuberant. I had accomplished the biggest dream of my five-year-old life!
The Roman philosopher, Seneca said, “It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it’s because we do not dare that things are difficult.” Whether you are 5 or 50, fear can prevent you from achieving your dreams. It keeps you from thinking big, taking risks, and challenging your status quo. Fear diminishes your confidence and hinders your willingness to travel into unknown territory. Metaphysicians define fear as: False Evidence Appearing Real.
There are times fear signals real obstacles you must navigate. That’s when you’ll need a mentor and encourager, like my father was for me. In the face of fear, consider building a support team or implementing a pilot program. Use the inevitable experiences of failure as an opportunity to begin again with new knowledge and understanding. It is through facing fear, and taking action, that your dreams will emerge.
What dreams need to emerge through you? Do you have a new product or process to create? Do you want to become a more powerful leader or speaker? Are you at a transition in your career or personal life? Each day, spend time journaling about your dreams and then take small action steps towards your goal. Make the phone call that needs to be made and make the changes that need to happen. Walk past your fears, step off the diving board and splash right into your dreams. You’ll emerge exuberant.
Leave your comments: Looking back, what fears have you overcome in order for a dream to emerge through you?