The number one bobsled team in the Netherlands pulled out of the Olympics Tuesday. Their reason, was fear. The team’s captain, Edwin van Calker, was too terrified to compete after crashing on the course during a two man run. His fear had paralyzed him, and now his team will not fulfill their dream.
Why do we let fear get the better of us? Even an Olympian, one of the best athletes in the world, is subject to the whims of a fearful thought.
To fear is something that people learn. If you’ve ever watched a child tear down a ski slope, climb to the tip-top of a tree, or peer over the endless expanse of the grand canyon, you will realize that fear is a very adult emotion. But when does it stop keeping us safe, and start preventing us from following our dreams?
Sure, as we grow up we realize that we are fragile, breakable. But we should never lose that child within us. The one that says, ‘ Take the plunge!’ or ‘ Climb all the way to the tippity top!’ We must listen to this voice, with no reservation about the way it challenges us.
So how do we safely harbor this carefree spirit into the torrent winds of fear and doubt that pick up as we grow older?
We must start with our own children, and build them a steadfast foundation of courage and hope. Encouraging adventure, pushing them to dream big, and to follow through. We must instill in them the importance to never forget their childhood ambitions. Read to your children, talk to them, tell them to live big, to not let anything–especially fear–stand in their way.
For after all, “The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash