A Kid’s Perspective: Facing Fears and Finding Confidence (Episode 311)
Have you ever been afraid to face your fears? Well, I'm back with my daughter Juliet and she has 5 tips to help you face your fears as we share how she's facing hers right now.
I love having Juliet join me on the podcast, as she always impresses me with her articulation and clarity in her message. And yes, it's definitely a portion of our functional education that she collaborates with me on the process of creating content and working on the podcast.
If you don't know us, here is a little backstory. In October 2016, we hit the road with our three daughters to RV the States full-time. What we thought would be a 90-day adventure is still going on today as I write this, in July of 2023!
The first few years we explored the mainland 48 States, and now, we've shifted into a new season where, instead of bouncing from campground to campground every few days, we're staying a minimum of a month at a time volunteering with state parks.
We're currently in Panama City Beach, and oh so conveniently, some of our dear friends from Nashville are right down the road from us!
Why the back-story? Juliet's focus today is based on a new experience she's super excited about. Our friends have a daughter the same age as Jules, and she has been into acting and singing for quite some time now. When they heard we would be in town, she invited Jules to join her at theater camp!
And then I found out this camp isn't just a basic camp. This is intense. I mean, the end result is a full-on musical performance, and she had auditions! While the camp is super supportive and open to all kids, they hold auditions to find the best spots for each kid to shine. While that would have been enough to stop me in my tracks at 10 years old, Juliet didn't bat an eye. She studied the songs, practiced with her bestie, and worked hard to rock her auditions.
I have to share a bit about Spotlight Studios, the place putting on this camp, and the performance. I might be a bit biased since I'm a coach myself. And unfortunately, my kids have experienced camp that is a little more like daycare before. Corralling kids and throwing in a few games, but mainly just babysitting.
So when I read that they would be getting singing, dancing, and acting coaching daily, I was sold. And, according to Jules herself, as she shared in the podcast above, they are great at giving constructive criticism and feedback. So not only are they loving on our kids and boosting their confidence, they're loving them enough to spend the time to give them feedback on how they can grow.
That's the mark of a great coach - when they don't simply pat you on the back; they help you see your blind spots and how you can shine even brighter.
So Juliet has been cast in the role of Lavender, Matilda's best friend, and it's a perfect opportunity for her. She's currently practicing her dance moves as I write this, and I love seeing her passion and drive in her to learn and perform.
So with that, she chose the topic for today - facing your fears, just like she got over her nerves to audition, and how she's preparing to go to camp with a bunch of strangers and perform in her first theatrical performance, ever. Little plug - want to come to see them perform? You can grab tickets here.
Face Your Fears - 5 Tips
What I love is this is our true unschooling style - I just asked Jules to come up with a topic and some key points. There are curated by her, and I agree!
Tip #1: Believe In Yourself
Yes, if you're simply relying on the belief of others, it can get hard to manage! Before you can move forward, it's important to believe you can do what you're aiming to do. In the height of fear, it's just one more thing to try to find who can affirm you. Get focused - it's the inward strength that can really propel you forward.
Just like in this play, if Jules is working hard to remember her lines, and she is looking for my thumbs up and that will determine how well she does...that's a lot of pressure! We talked about how she messed up on one of her songs in her audition, and how she pressed on, took a deep breath, and then tried again.
Have the confidence from within that you can do this and you will survive it. You're always around versus being dependent on someone else believing in you - that's just a bonus.
I love her determination to learn and grow. Her thoughts are, "Because when you stop, you're just making a fool of yourself even more." Ha - have you ever thought about how, when we beat ourselves up for our mistakes, we simply draw more attention to it?
Tip #2: Educate Yourself
The more you know, the less fear you can have. Jules used the perfect example of snakes. Having a sister who is a master herpetologist, we've learned a LOT about these creatures. And Clara does an incredible job of educating people about snakes and helping them understand them better.
I'll be the first to say, I was definitely scared of snakes and said I'd never have them in my house. (Note: never say never. We have five now). As Clara has enlightened us, it's become very apparent that my fear was due more to ignorance than a valid fear. When you educate yourself on them, you learn they really aren't out to get you, and bites happen more when they are defending their lives, not just for the heck of it! (Curious about snakes? Clara has a great post about it here).
It's a lot easier to be scared of what you don't know. As you educate yourself, you'll gain confidence to make a more informed decision.
Tip #3: Assess
What is your end goal? Is this something that really lights you up, where, once you figure it out, you'll be better for it afterward? If it completely drains you, is it really worth pursuing? We're all about challenging ourselves to grow - yet that doesn't mean you have to throw yourself at every fear.
My whole family loves to be in the water. There was a time I was very determined to pursue SCUBA diving and follow the family along. Yet the more I thought it through, the more I thought of the end result - me renting a bunch of expensive equipment to walk around super deep in the ocean. And, while I understand there is beauty there, it's honestly not top on my list for what I'd like to do. So is it really necessary to pursue it? I decided I could challenge myself in other ways.
The more I assessed it, I realized that I was forcing something that had an end goal that didn't motivate me. When it comes to facing your fears, recognize that doesn't mean you need to pursue everything that makes you nervous. It means stretching yourself when you have a desire for an end goal that's worth it to you.
Move past the fear to the feeling on the other side - is it worth it to you?
We want to challenge you to stretch yourself, yet that doesn't mean you have to tackle every fear you have or you have to go deep into all these areas that are of no interest to you. Really determine whether this fits where you're headed and where you want to go.
Tip #4: Take Action, OR, Listen To Your Gut
I love this - if it doesn't sit right with you, trust that. Sometimes it's not something to force - again, if that end goal isn't worth it, it's okay to do something else. It's always great to educate yourself on things, yet that doesn't mean your need to pursue every fear.
Straight from Juliet:
"If there's not an end goal that's gonna be better than the fight that you're doing and the work that you're putting into it, then listen to your gut and find another Z."
And on the flip side, if your gut says you're going to regret it if you don't push through, DO IT! Take action. The more you visualize what you'll gain on the other side, the more motivation you have. So take action!
Tip #5: Put A Date On It!
If you've gone through these first four and are ready to face it, the final step is to put a date on it. As I say so often, it'll always remain "one day" until you put a date on it!
Put it into your schedule. Educate yourself so you understand it and are prepared for it. And work from A to Z backward from your goal to look at your next step.
What a great list:
- Believe in yourself
- Learn about the things you're scared of
- Assess your ultimate goal
- Take action, OR, listen to your gut
- Put a date on it
And with that, we celebrate you. Face your fears. Put a date on it, learn about it, and get some confidence because you are a beautiful soul in this world, and we need what you have to offer.
And the more we can celebrate all of those things that make us unique, the more we can remember how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste.