“Aren’t you doing this backwards?” My brother asked me after telling him that I was going rappelling down a slot canyon in my 30’s. “Aren’t you supposed to do all the dangerous stuff when you are young and then settle in when you get older?”
He wasn’t wrong. That is path most people take. It is also the path I would recommend to others. This was not my path, unfortunately. This resulted in a lot of regret, which is the one thing we do not want to have at the end of our lives. I committed then that I would not allow fear to take hold of my kids. That they would make decisions in confidence and do what they believe is right.
How could I do that? I can’t just say, “don’t be afraid!” That has absolutely no value. It may even make them feel shame about their fear, whish pushes that seed deeper.
No, if I want my girls to make decisions in confidence without fear, then I would need to model that for them. Living without fear is not something you can tell someone to do. It is something they must watch and learn. It is something they must see played out before them, time and time again. They need a model for this type of behavior.
I lived my entire life in fear, so I did not know how to model this for my kids. This was not something I could just start doing. I had to start with something. I chose to focus on something I love and make a move to do that. Even if I don’t give them a good model for fearless living, I wanted to at least show them how to see what you love and go after that. I started very small. I started roasting coffee. I was terrible at it, but my kids watched my journey. They saw me fail. They saw me struggle. Most importantly, they saw me keep going.
It doesn’t matter how old we are, it is never to late to start this. Some of the bigger impacts on my life from my parents were decisions they made after I was in my 20s. Just start.