Daniel Schaaff

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Taking the first step into our fears

Watching my children continues to teach me valuable lessons. The big decisions in life are tough and we often put off making a decision as long as possible due to fear and anxiety. This leads to procrastination and can be crippling at times.

I started thinking about this while interacting with my oldest daughter at the waterpark a few weekends ago. In the kids pool area there were 3 waterslides. She would happily slide down the smaller two but steadfastly refuse the slightly larger slide. My one and a half year old twins even rode the larger slide but that did little to sway the strong willed 3 year old. In her mind it was a gargantuan waterfall. On the second day there I continued to plead with her to take plunge. It would be so much fun I assured her but she couldn’t look past her fear. As a last ditch effort I offered a treat in return for trying the slide. Her expression immediately perked up at the sound of that magical word and she ran straight to the top of the slide.

Fast forward a few hours and she was having the time of her life riding all of the much, much larger big kid water slides. Any glimpse of her fear from the morning was completely gone, and the key? Taking the first step.

When I think back on the harder decisions I have made in life, they almost always involved a first step into the unknown. From deciding to go on tour, to deciding to leave that band, to deciding to go back to college. All of these situations involved the unknown and I was freaked out. It was really hard but after taking the first step my momentum helped me keep going.

Fear is best faced head on.

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