My oldest has always struggled with balance, so that has made learning to ride a bike a bit of a challenge. We did the training wheel thing, then we did the scooter thing, and now we are at the big kid stage where bikes don’t come with training wheels. So, for his birthday we told him he had no choice-he had to learn to ride his new bike.
It was a disaster. He wore his boots. Just for future reference, boots and bikes don’t work well. Boots got stuck in the pedals, they fell off the pedals, legs got scraped by the pedals and it’s just a royal mess. So here we are, trying our best to be good parents, challenging our child to grow and be successful at a new skill. Daddy starts pushing him, helping him balance on the dirt road. Crying, yelling, continued pushing with legs flailing and finally the bike fell over on our scared, anxious child. Our first lesson wasn’t great.
He’s afraid. Even with him wearing elbow and knee pads he is still so afraid. Afraid of falling. Afraid of embarrassment. And afraid of failing. Fear is crippling him, but we are not going to let fear win. We have been working on a strategy for the next time. We are talking it up and rehearsing what being successful looks like and when he’s ready, we will try again. And again. And again.
As my son battles his bicycle fear, I am over here dealing with my own grown up fears. Fear of stepping out into new things. Fear of what the school year will look like for my kids. Fear of not measuring up as a parent. Fear of losing control of my mouth when it’s not the time. Fear of my husband not beating cancer. Fear of the strange future that lies ahead. Fear of rejection. Fear of people’s judgment. And so many more.
Fear is absolutely crippling. But I can’t let fear win. Neither can you. We need to have our own defensive strategies in place to counteract the fear that creeps up in our lives. We need to talk through the fears, rehearse our victorious move and try to move through the fears. Again and again and again.
We are saturated by a world that is being consumed with fear. Some fears are from a legitimate concern, while others are just frauds. Just like we are trying to teach my son, we cannot let fear win or we will never be able to keep our feet on the pedals. Flailing legs overcome with uncontrollable fear will never learn to drive straight and stay on course. We have to learn how to keep our head focused and not let fear steer us off course.
This week when fear sneaks up and tries to take over, keep those feet on the pedals, eyes on the road and stay true to the course. Fear can knock you over, but don’t let it keep you down.