I'm in Iceland. Friends...it's amazing. We've been here for one day, and I'm smitten with the landscape and the people and the animals. The food...not so much...but I'll forgive it because PB&J has never tasted so delicious.
We are traveling with another family, and in total, we have 5 kids ages 3-9. In a word, we are a CIRCUS. But today, true to our traveling style, we went on an EPIC hike that included a harrowing river crossing (see the video) and several sections that had a guideline on one side and high-consequence drop offs on the other. Along the trail, almost everyone we passed commented on the age of the kids, most with admiration rather than judgment in their voices, and one guy even joked that surely we had arrived at our high point by helicopter.
I was inspired to make another video. It's short and sweet and perhaps a bit trite, but it's also a timeless message that spoke loudly to me today. Please watch, like and share.
I want to expand a bit more on the no bravery without fear idea. The hike became a powerful metaphor for life. Honestly, as we walked up to the river crossing and saw how we had to take off our shoes, wade across a very cold running river while holding onto a wobbly cable, then walk across a skinny, slippery log, we almost turned back. I would've been nervous without any kids, but my mama-bear instincts started to kick in and I could tell the kiddos were nervous, too. However, if we had turned back, we would've literally been stuck. We would've been forced to stop forward progress, turn around and go back the way we came, stopping short of our goal of reaching the viewpoint of the highest waterfall in Iceland. We would've been disappointed and a little defeated. Instead, we pushed through the fear and the freezing water and we reached the other side. I watched as my 7-year-old cheered on her 5-year-old friend as she crossed, clearly out of her comfort zone but moving forward anyway. Instead of disappointment, we felt empowered. We felt strong and brave and proud. The payoff of an amazing waterfall view and gummy frogs was well-earned and more appreciated because of the journey. I hope that the accomplishment will stick with my children so that the next time they feel fear, they will channel it into courage because they remember that feeling of standing at the top of the hike and looking at the view.
How do you react to fear? Do you let it turn you around? Does fear become disappointment and unfulfilled desires, or do you accept the fear as a natural and even necessary step toward bravery and accomplishment? If fear stops you in your tracks, contact me for a free mini-session to discuss how coaching can help you recognize, face, and overcome your fears.
In the meantime, I encourage you to go out there and do something that scares you, whether it be completing a challenging hike, trying a new hobby, making a new friend, or embracing a change you've been avoiding. Channel that fear and doubt because without fear, you can not become brave.