No one expects great leaps while making peanut butter and jelly. But that's what happened.
[box type="none"]Four mini-posts on facing fear from new mom and life-long leaper, Nadine Cooper-Kohn.[/box]
Making Things Bite Size
Right in the middle of trying not to tear a hole in the bread, I thought of the business card on my computer desk—the one with a new neighbor's e-mail address on it; the one I had been too shy, nervous, scared to actually use over the past week.
I suddenly thought, "This is what scared and doing it anyway is all about." It doesn't have to be huge, it can be as small as this—e-mailing a new neighbor for a play-date.
And then I leapt. I said:
I CAN DO THIS. If it is small enough, I can do this.
Sending that e-mail isn't making the friend or meeting, it's just sending an e-mail.
So I've started 101 days of facing my fears. I've promised myself that I will do something that scares me every day.
I will write it down at the end of each day to keep track of all the fears that surface; all the things that I have previously let stop me.
So Maybe I'm Just a Tadpole
Why do I need such goals?
Well, a year ago I started a blog post about being amphibious in nature.
I make huge leaps all the time—I moved to London, China, California, Texas, Berlin, I started 2 graduate programs at the same time. Marriage—check, adopted shelter dog—check, baby—check.
But none of these big things scared me.
What has always scared me is staying still and yet here I am, 36, and a stay at home mom in a new city with no friends nearby.
I have no reason to leave the house unless I create one.
The Courage of the Small
In Winnie the Pooh, my favorite character is always Piglet.
Piglet faces many fears in the name of friendship. Though he is small, he is able to accomplish great things, because he faces his fears.
I will once more take lessons from Piglet. I will create a reason to leave the house every day. Every day I will face that fear and at least one other fear that presents itself. This is my challenge to myself.
I will not judge any fear as too small or too silly. I've seen too many silly and small fears grow.
No, I will be like Piglet; I will allow myself to be afraid, and I will do it anyway.
Lessons in Letting Go
It's 8pm. I've just had a long shower, put on my pjs, and opened a bottle of beer.
I am able to do all these things because I faced down a fear.
Tonight, for the first time, my 4 month-old son is out of the house without me for more than a walk around the block. He is 40 minutes away at his grandparents' house with his dad watching the Texas Rangers play in the World Series.
Yet, my first response when my husband suggested he go and take Niko, while I stay at home was, "I'll go too."
As I came up with reason after reason to say no, I started to sense something hiding behind it all, an unnamed fear that was creating all this noise.
So I looked at my fear and I let go. Then, I let him go.
And every few minutes I have to let him go all over again to keep from calling to check-in.
I realize now that my life will be filled with these little "letting goes" but I cannot think of that tonight.
Tonight I will be confident, knowing that if I have courage in small ways with small fears the impact on my life will be HUGE.