It was a big moment for me. Finally, the top of my head reached the minimum height line for the bumper cars. No longer a passenger, this time I could drive my own car. Anxious and excited, I waited for the GO signal.
When it was time to go, I pushed the pedal down. The car didn’t move.
I pushed again. Nothing. I started to panic. All the cars were moving around me and I was stuck.
My mom got the ride operator’s attention and pointed in my direction. He yelled instructions at me. But, still my car didn’t move. He swaggered over repeating the instructions. Still stuck.
Finally, he pressed the pedal while standing on the side of the car. We took off.
I felt deflated. Instead of enjoying the bumper cars, I felt like a weakling. Other kids my age could get the car to move, why couldn’t I?
Similar moments like this chipped away at my confidence. Trepidation had set in.
Trying new things no longer held excitement. My thoughts were glued to images of failure.
What is Your Approaching Energy?
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even though I got over the bumper car incident and went on to mountain bike, rock climb and rappel, there’s still situations I automatically drop into fear.
I don’t want my past limiting my future. I don’t want to approach life with fear and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.
Now, as I approach the doctor’s appointment, a client session or the grocery store, I check in to make sure I’m bringing my best self. I leave worries behind.
Making It a Practice
Being an introvert and a highly sensitive person mixed with the influence of the hermit archetype, makes me avoid crowds as much as possible.
But, my daughter’s school doesn’t have busing. It’s my job to pick her up at school along with a throng of other parents. Step into a schoolyard and my unhealed school “stuff” comes right up.
So, I made it my practice to check my approaching energy as I walk into my daughter’s elementary schoolyard for dismissal. I check in. What energy do I want to bring to the schoolyard? What energy do I want to greet Lila and the other parents with?
Once I knew how I wanted to show up, it’s easy to relax, open up and smile. It’s turned something dreadful to something enjoyable.
Warning this practice will have a profound impact on you and others.
When you approach something with anxiety, there’s no room for enjoyment. Who doesn’t want to enjoy their life more?
What’s that one thing that makes you nervous? How would you prefer to show up?
Make it your practice to show up as your best self every time. Soon, it will be your norm to approach the situation or person with a more positive, confident energy.