"I am brave! I've got this!"
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
We were on a walk through our neighborhood park, something we enjoy doing in the evenings before dinnertime to let go of any last minute wiggles before bedtime. There's a raised brick wall that follows the walking path and many kiddos enjoy using it as a balance beam. Amara put her foot up on the wall to show me she was wanting to walk along it as well. I hesitated letting her go by herself because some of the path was washed away from the hillside dirt. As I tried to grab her hand, hoping she'd let me support her a bit more, she said out loud, "I am brave! I've got this!"
When I heard those words, I stopped moving. I couldn't help but look at her with a smile and respond, "Yes, yes you are!" I was so proud of her for saying that, but I couldn't help but wonder what stops the rest of us from thinking that way anymore? At what point do we stop having confidence in ourselves and begin doubting the actions we take? What's burned us?
As a parent, sometimes we hesitate to let our kiddos go off and try new things on their own. Millions of questions begin circling our heads: "What if she gets hurt? What if she doesn't succeed? How will she feel if it doesn't go the way she wanted it to?" Do children lose that confidence because we stepped in too soon? I am constantly having a battle in my head as to whether to always stand close to her side, or give her the space she desires to try these new activities, "be wild and free" as she puts it. I try a mix of both- standing next to her so she knows I am there, but also putting my hand down so she doesn't feel I don't trust her judgement.
Why can't we ask for that same support as adults- someone standing right next to us so that when we need a hand, it's there? We may not always want our hand being held, but we like to know it's there when we start to trip or lose our footing.
Sometimes when we think about starting to change routines or habits in our life, it can feel as though we are about to stand out on a ledge and take off. It can feel scary and overwhelming. Let me be that support figure next to you as you begin your new path. I will hold out my hand when needed, but bring it down to my side when you need your space to try the new goals we've set.
I do have confidence in you! No matter what, I know "you are brave and you've got this!"