Lose the fear and DREAM BIG!

I've been thinking a lot lately about obstacles. There are the daily, obvious kind - rush hour traffic which now goes on all day, endless calls to my insurance company to get medical claims paid, my kids refusing to try new foods (or eat foods they've loved for 3 years and now suddenly can't stand!) - the list goes on and on.

But it's the less obvious obstacles that are far more challenging to me, especially those I put up myself. I've realized as I've aged that FEAR is my biggest obstacle - fear of failing, fear of getting hurt, fear of embarrassment, fear of the unknown. It can be overpowering, paralyzing and contagious. I remind myself of this every day because I have three girls I'm raising to (hopefully) be strong, confident, and when necessary, fearless women. I don't want them to "catch" fear from me so I do my best to model (within reason) fearless behavior - like being right by their side climbing on a 25 foot indoor rock wall - even if my forty something body doesn't always agree with me! So what motivates me to tackle my fear head on? Lately it's the image of my brave, beautiful 5 year old riding a wave...

On a recent family trip, my husband and our nanny decided to sign up for a surf lesson in the rough, and very cold, Pacific Ocean. The day before, my daughter boldly announced "I want to take a surf lesson too." She can swim, but she's not what I would call an ocean swimmer, nor has she ever surfed a day in her life. So the big day arrived, everyone donned their wetsuits and we all went down to the beach. I could see my daughter wavering, her fear was creeping in, and she was struggling with her decision to go through with it. We told her it was fine if she decided not to surf and the teacher headed into the ocean with the others. My daughter stood at the water's edge, watching for a few minutes and then I saw it, the sparkle in her eye and her fiery spirit rising to push the fear aside. Five minutes later she proclaimed - I'll do it! She confidently walked out with the instructor, wading through the 55 degree water and constant rolling waves, got up on the 7 foot adult sized surfboard and rode a wave! It was an incredible and empowering moment, for her and for me.

My daughter only stands 44 inches tall, but her courage made her twice that height that day. She came out of the water with her teeth chattering and the hugest smile on her face. I snapped a photo of her after, while she sipped a smoothie and watched the waves and realized that the message on the back of her sweatshirt - DREAM BIG! - said it all.

So now my new mantra is "find your inner child, lose the fear and DREAM BIG!"

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