How to handle fear like a 6-year old

Callie Jean rocking her fear away

Callie Jean rocking her fear away

I had an amazing experience this past weekend that I felt I must share with you. This is a little longer blog than I would normally post, but I really hope this helps you with your Mission Accomplishment or, at the very least, brightens your day.

Saturday night, my 6-year old daughter, Callie, sang a duet with her classmate in their school’s talent show. They sang the song “My Favorite Things”, and Callie has been practicing for weeks, ever since she found out she qualified for the talent show.

Saturday night she was happy and excited, and her always-optimistic mood never wavered even as we walked into the packed auditorium where she was to perform.

But as the other kids performed–some singing, some dancing, others playing instruments (one girl even read her own poetry and a 5th grade boy brought the house down with a stand up comedy act about his mother!)–I could see Callie get a little more serious.

She was sitting next to me, head down, rubbing her temples. I asked if she felt alright, and she said, “Yes. I’m visualizing.” When I asked her what she was visualizing, she explained she was imagining having excellent posture, smiling big, having a strong voice and remembering all the words to the song. She told me she also hoped everyone would like it, so she visualized the audience clapping.

When the time came to perform, she and her friend took the stage. They nailed their performance! Callie’s voice was strong and true. Her posture confident, her smile bright as ever. They got a huge ovation and both left the stage feeling amazing about themselves and what they’d just accomplished.

When she ran into my arms, I congratulated her and asked how she felt. She told me that even though she had ‘stage fright’ and felt like throwing up, she remembered her visualizations and had a blast actually performing!

Now, I share this with you because I hope you take something really important away from this story.

First, while Callie ‘visualized success’, she didn’t concentrate on the end result. She wasn’t praying for a great outcome, she was focused on doing her best in each aspect of the performance. She visualized the steps it took to get to the outcome she wanted. And while the emphasis was on the action, she still paid due respect to the desired outcome as well (and got it!).

Second, she was scared out of her wits, but delivered her best anyway. It is hard to quantify what any of us might feel at any given moment in our journey, but I know my little girl, and fear has nothing on her. For her to feel nauseous is really something; for her to step into fear and push it away doesn’t surprise me, though.

You see, Mission Accomplishment is about feeling the fear and doing your best anyway. It is about being clear on your desired outcome, creating a plan for execution, then taking the bold action…even in the face of adversity. You ARE good enough for your dream. You deserve success, so go get it.

I hope this little story about Callie’s courage helps you as you approach your missions in business and life. Have an amazing day, and kick butt this week.

Fly High. Fly Fast. Fly Far.

2 Responses to How to handle fear like a 6-year old

  1. Jenn Lawlor says:

    Hey JT!

    Long time since we’ve been in touch… I saw you mention this post on FB and couldn’t resist reading.

    Your daughter is amazing. I’m so happy she was able to celebrate her success. So few people can do that.

    We’ve got a lot to learn from our children.

    Hope your entire family is doing great!