When the time comes that we would be blessed with a child or children of our own, and there is one thing I could do for them, it would be to help them overcome the tendency to be filled with fear. I would strive to do this because I know that fear could be a huge obstacle for a person in reaching their full potential. Based on my experience and the experiences of the people I conversed with about the root causes of fear in adults, here are the things I will strive hard always to remind my future offspring:
- “Human beings are not perfect. Thus, it is totally okay to fail or commit mistakes.”
- “Enjoy the process. Do not spend your time dreading the result.”
- “You made a mistake; you did not commit a crime. Try again.”
- “Did your approach miss? Allow me to help you.”
- “What have you learned from this setback?”
- “What can you do better next time?”
- “What kind of help or support do you need from me?”
- “Can I count on you?”
While rebuking people who commit mistakes is necessary, it should be reinforced with support in most cases. Would you be empowered to try again when you experience an all-out castigation or mockery because of your shortcomings? Unless you are an inherently driven or headstrong individual, it is doubtful if you would. We should not be fooled by the idea that we have helped a person become better because we corrected a mistake and they did not do it again. They did not do it again, and that is a mistake. You caused them to lose opportunities to learn and grow as a person. You limit their capabilities as contributing individuals to the world. You reduced them to someone who would no longer make an impact in the world.
I liken this to someone learning to drive. That person will never learn if you set an expectation for them not to cause damage to the vehicle or other vehicles on the road. Setting an expectation that does not leave room for mistakes can lead to fear, not only of committing mistakes but of trying. Why not convert failures as an opportunity to teach instead?
Do you think these could help the young generation to lessen their fears?
(Photo by Eva Bronzini)