We spent a little time in Tahoe on our recent trip out west. Man is it gorgeous out there! We all fell in love and started dreaming of going back for a whole week next summer. That is until we felt the water temperature- Yikes! I am on something of a mission lately to jump on every chance I get for adventure, but one dunk of my toes and I knew there was no way I was going in. Down the beach was a little pier and a few brave kids were jumping off the end.
My son was fascinated and decided he was going to jump too. So, after we had lunch we strolled down. As we got towards the end of the pier his anxiety started to spike. When he tried to climb up on the railing he was truly terrified but still so determined to jump. He was down in the dumps that he had chickened out. Why? We all do this to ourselves, we make up some imaginary bar and then beat ourselves up if we don’t reach it. I get it that setting goals is awesome and totally moves you to a whole new place, but not reaching your goals is a valid part of the process too. Maybe it gives you more determination for the next time, teaches you something about the limits you have set for yourself, or maybe you just need more than one crack at it.
I spoke to him for a minute about fear being an evolutionary device programmed into your body to protect you against danger. I told him you can choose to ignore the warning and go for it. Twenty seconds of courage, right? He went down to a lower area where my daughter was working up her courage and with a little support from my husband, in they went. Twice. I was so proud of them. They had made up their minds that it was going to happen and they did it!
My son was bummed out as he hadn’t jumped from the highest point. I am working on him, though. He jumped right into his fear and swam all the way to shore. I am positive that when we go back he will take that high dive. He just needs one more chance.