My little guy has his first baseball game of the season today. I was hoping he’d be excited for it. Instead, he is nervous. He is worried he’ll make a mistake. He feels like everyone else is better at it than he is and he is afraid that his teammates won’t understand that he is still learning.
I’ve told him everything will be fine, but I know how he feels. Haven’t we all been there?
I’ve assured him that everyone is there to learn, that the goal is to have fun and that mistakes are okay. I tell him that if you aren’t making mistakes, then you aren’t learning. He nods, but I know I haven’t changed how he is feeling in his heart. He has self-doubt, and self-doubt has killed more dreams than anything else in this world.
I know the only way to quell your insecurities is from the inside. He has to learn to overcome his fears in his own way, because one day I won’t be there to force him to keep going or to cheer him on.
I draw on the line my mom told me over and over and over growing up: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I heard them the day I quit my job to go freelance. They echoed in my ears when I first called on potential clients, and I still say then any time I have to do something difficult.
So, I pass the advice on to Evan. It may not mean much today, and one day he’ll probably roll his eyes at me. But my hope is that when it counts, when he is faced with the choice of finding the courage or walking away, he’ll tell himself to feel the fear and do it anyway.